How to Find the Right Nursing College in Clarkston Georgia
Locating the best nursing program near Clarkston GA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Clarkston GA healthcare 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 duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Clarkston GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Clarkston GA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Georgia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 might wish 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Clarkston GA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Clarkston GA. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many 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 Clarkston GA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Georgia to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Georgia. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Clarkston GA home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Clarkston GA as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Clarkston GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Clarkston GA area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Clarkston 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 colleges you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Clarkston GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Clarkston GA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Clarkston GA
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Clarkston GA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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