How to Select the Right Nursing Program near Arlington Alabama
Choosing the right nursing college near Arlington AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree choices that are available as well as what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 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 available to aspiring students in the Arlington AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an indispensable component of a Arlington AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession out of 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 human side of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, including home care facilities, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Arlington AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment 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 portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Arlington AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Arlington AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Arlington AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Arlington AL for non-accredited schools.
- 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, 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 Arlington 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Arlington AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Arlington AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Arlington AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Arlington Alabama area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both interesting and useful regarding the location of your school campus.
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, often referred to simply as Arlington or Arlington, Virginia. The county is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River directly across from the District of Columbia, of which it was once a part. The county is coterminous with the U.S. Census Bureau's census-designated place of Arlington. Arlington is considered to be the second-largest "principal city" of the Washington metropolitan area.
In 2018, the county's population was estimated at 237,521, making Arlington the sixth-largest county in Virginia by population; if it were incorporated as a city, would be the fourth-most populous city in the state. With a land area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Arlington is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the U.S., and by reason of state law regarding population density, it has no incorporated towns within its borders. It is the 5th highest-income county in the U.S. by median family income.
Due to the county's proximity to downtown Washington, D.C., Arlington is home to the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and Arlington National Cemetery, George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School and Schar School of Policy and Government, satellite campuses of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, and is soon to house the co-headquarters of Amazon.com.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Arlington AL
Picking the ideal nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Good Nursing Programs. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arlington AL.
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