How to Choose an Accredited RN Program near Eufaula Alabama
Searching for the right nursing school near Eufaula AL may seem like a complex project, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Eufaula AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees Available
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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Eufaula AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Eufaula AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments 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 hectic schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable part of a Eufaula AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses provide direct patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Eufaula AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Eufaula AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Eufaula 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Eufaula AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Eufaula AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Alabama RN School
Choosing the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Eufaula Alabama.