How to Choose an Accredited Nursing Program near Moores Mill Alabama
Selecting the best nursing college near Moores Mill AL may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Moores Mill AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 Available
There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Moores Mill AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Moores Mill AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments 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 busy schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an essential component of a Moores Mill AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Moores Mill AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous 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 earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Moores Mill AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Moores Mill 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Moores Mill AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Moores Mill AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Alabama RN School
Selecting the ideal nursing school is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 Moores Mill Alabama.