How to Enroll In the Right Nursing College near Atmore Alabama
Finding the right nursing school near Atmore AL may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Atmore AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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 College Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Atmore AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Atmore AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program 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 Atmore AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Atmore AL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Atmore AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Atmore AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Atmore AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Atmore AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Alabama RN School
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Atmore Alabama.