How to Pick the Best Nursing Program near Moody Alabama
Selecting the best nursing college near Moody AL may seem like a challenging project, 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 receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Moody AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degrees
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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on 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 Moody AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Moody AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an essential component of a Moody AL medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances 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 aspects, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Moody AL or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only 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. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Moody 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Moody 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Moody AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Moody AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Alabama RN Program
Selecting the ideal nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Moody Alabama.