How to Choose a Nursing College in Graysville Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college near Graysville AL may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Graysville AL medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Graysville AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Graysville AL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Graysville AL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Graysville AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Graysville AL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Alabama. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Graysville AL home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Graysville AL as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Graysville AL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Graysville AL area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Graysville AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Graysville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Graysville AL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Graysville AL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Graysville AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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