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How to Enroll In the Best RN School near Albertville Alabama

Albertville Alabama RN examining patient with stethoscopeFinding the best nursing school near Albertville AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Albertville Alabama nurse reading vital signs of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Albertville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degree Options

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Albertville AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at 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 may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Classes

Albertville Alabama RN holding medical chartEnrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Albertville AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an important part of a Albertville AL medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

RN interacting with Albertville Alabama assisted living patientOnce you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Albertville AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Albertville AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Albertville 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 looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Albertville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Albertville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Degree Programs in Albertville

Choose the Right Alabama RN College

Deciding on the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Albertville Alabama.


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