Home >> Alabama >> Chelsea >> Nursing Courses


Get Free Info on Nursing Colleges In Your Area Chelsea AL 35043

How to Choose an Accredited RN Program near Chelsea Alabama

Chelsea Alabama Nurse examining patient with stethoscopeChoosing the right nursing college near Chelsea AL may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order 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 final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Chelsea Alabama RN reading vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Chelsea AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing 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 more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees Available

There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And 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 two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Chelsea AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Schools

Chelsea Alabama Nurse holding medical chartAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Chelsea AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an essential part of a Chelsea AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Programs

RN reading with Chelsea Alabama assisted living patientOnce you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Chelsea AL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Chelsea AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Chelsea 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chelsea AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Chelsea AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Schools in Chelsea

Choose the Best Alabama RN College

Choosing the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chelsea Alabama.


Chelsea Nursing Colleges | Main | Chelsea Nursing Training