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How to Select the Right Nursing Training Program near Glencoe Alabama

Glencoe Alabama Nurse checking patient with stethoscopeSearching for the right nursing program near Glencoe AL may feel like a complicated project, 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 obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Glencoe Alabama nurse taking blodd pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Glencoe AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating 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), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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 Degree Options

There are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Glencoe AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Degrees

Glencoe Alabama RN holding medical chartAttending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Glencoe AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with 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 busy schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an integral part of a Glencoe 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 go into the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Programs

Nurse interacting with Glencoe Alabama nursing home patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Glencoe AL or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Glencoe 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Glencoe 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Glencoe AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Glencoe AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Training in Glencoe

Choose the Best Alabama RN College

Enrolling in the right nursing college is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, 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 develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Glencoe Alabama.


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