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How to Select the Best RN Course near Daphne Alabama

Daphne Alabama RN examining man with stethoscopeChoosing the best nursing program near Daphne AL may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Daphne Alabama RN taking vital signs of senior woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Daphne AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing College Degrees

There are several degree options to choose from 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Daphne AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving 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 attained 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 change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Programs

Daphne Alabama RN holding health fileAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many Daphne AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an important component of a Daphne AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently 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 long-term care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the health profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive 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 number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

RN reading with Daphne Alabama nursing home patientOnce you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Daphne AL or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Daphne 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Daphne 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 schools you are considering 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Daphne AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Degree Programs in Daphne

Enroll in the Right Alabama RN School

Deciding on the right nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Daphne Alabama.


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