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How to Enroll In the Right RN College near Brewton Alabama

Brewton Alabama RN examining patient with stethoscopeChoosing the right nursing college near Brewton AL may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree choices that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Brewton Alabama RN reading vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Brewton AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating 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 example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations 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 two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has earned 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 be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Degrees

Brewton Alabama RN holding medical chartEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Brewton AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an integral component of a Brewton AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, 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 tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human aspect 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 a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

Nurse reading with Brewton Alabama assisted living patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Brewton AL or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, 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 field.

  • 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 verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Brewton AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. 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 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 working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Brewton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Brewton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Programs in Brewton

Choose the Best Alabama RN Program

Choosing the right nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Brewton Alabama.


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