How to Find an Accredited Nursing School near Jasper Alabama
Searching for the right nursing program near Jasper AL may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree choices that are available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Jasper AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 School Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve 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 Jasper AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she 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 be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Jasper AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Become a Nurse?Nurses are an essential part of a Jasper AL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment 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, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Jasper AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. 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 to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Jasper 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Jasper 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 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 superb reputation within the Jasper AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific 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 Jasper AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Alabama RN School
Enrolling in the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Jasper Alabama.