How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Training Program near Hueytown Alabama
Finding the right nursing school near Hueytown AL may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Hueytown AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And in order 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Hueytown AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many Hueytown AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an important component of a Hueytown AL medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human side of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to pursue 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 number of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Hueytown AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hueytown AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hueytown 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Hueytown AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Hueytown AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Alabama RN School
Picking the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hueytown Alabama.