How to Find the Right RN Training Program near Hartselle Alabama
Locating the right nursing college near Hartselle AL may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree options that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Hartselle AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order 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 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Hartselle AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Hartselle AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very 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 Nursing?Nurses are an important component of a Hartselle AL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to tend 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, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician'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. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Hartselle AL or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hartselle 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hartselle 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hartselle AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Hartselle AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Alabama RN School
Deciding on the ideal nursing school is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hartselle Alabama.