RN Nursing Programs in Atlanta GA 30301

How to Select a Nursing Program in Atlanta Georgia

Atlanta GA Registered NurseFinding the right nursing school near Atlanta GA may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Atlanta GA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Atlanta GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Atlanta GA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Georgia community colleges. It readies 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 later earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Georgia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Atlanta GA or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.

LVN and LPN Programs

RN assisting surgeon in Atlanta GAThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Atlanta GA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Atlanta GA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Georgia to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

Nursing Online Degrees

attending nursing school online in Atlanta GAAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Georgia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Atlanta GA home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Atlanta GA as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Atlanta GA.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Atlanta GA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Atlanta GA 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 schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Atlanta GA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Atlanta GA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Select the Right RN College near Atlanta GA

Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Atlanta GA.

Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?

When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.

Some Other Cities in Georgia

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