How to Enroll In an Accredited RN School near Monroeville Alabama
Selecting the right nursing college near Monroeville AL may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Monroeville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degrees
There are several degree options offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Monroeville AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary 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 programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many Monroeville AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable part of a Monroeville AL medical team, and for a large number of 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 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. Most individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose 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 variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Monroeville AL or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Monroeville AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Monroeville AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Monroeville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Monroeville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Alabama RN Program
Selecting the ideal nursing program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Monroeville Alabama.