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How to Pick an Accredited RN Degree Program near Arab Alabama

Arab Alabama RN examining patient with stethoscopeLocating the best nursing program near Arab AL may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are available as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Arab Alabama nurse taking blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Arab AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees Available

There are several degree options available 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Arab AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Degrees

Arab Alabama RN holding health chartEnrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Arab AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an integral part of a Arab AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

RN reading with Arab Alabama nursing home patientNow that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Arab AL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, 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 other schools.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Arab AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Arab 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 programs 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Arab AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Arab AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Colleges in Arab

Choose the Best Alabama RN College

Choosing the right nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arab Alabama.


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