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How to Pick the Best Nursing School near Brewton Alabama

Brewton Alabama RN checking patient with stethoscopeFinding the right nursing program near Brewton AL may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure 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 vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Brewton Alabama nurse taking vital signs of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Brewton AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating 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), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

There is more than one degree option offered 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn 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 Brewton AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at 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 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Brewton Alabama RN holding medical chartAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Brewton AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an indispensable part of a Brewton AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human side of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Courses

Nurse reading with Brewton Alabama nursing home patientNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Brewton AL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers 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 reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Brewton 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, 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 readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Brewton 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Brewton AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Brewton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Programs in Brewton

Enroll in the Best Alabama RN Program

Selecting the ideal nursing program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 Brewton Alabama.


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