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How to Pick an Accredited Nursing Course near Attalla Alabama

Attalla Alabama RN examining man with stethoscopeLocating the right nursing school near Attalla AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Attalla Alabama nurse reading blodd pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Attalla AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing College Degrees Available

There is more than one degree option available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Attalla AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

Attalla Alabama RN holding health chartEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Attalla AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an important component of a Attalla AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses provide primary patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Nurse interacting with Attalla Alabama assisted living patientNow that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Attalla AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Attalla AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Attalla AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Attalla AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Attalla AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Classes in Attalla

Enroll in the Right Alabama RN School

Choosing the ideal nursing program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Attalla Alabama.


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