How to Pick the Right Nursing Program near Russellville Alabama
Finding the right nursing college near Russellville AL may feel like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Russellville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an important part of a Russellville AL medical team, and for many 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 several reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to tend 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 analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor’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. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Russellville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Russellville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Russellville AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Russellville AL or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Russellville AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Russellville 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 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Russellville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Russellville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Russellville AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Russellville 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.
Russellville is a city in Franklin County in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,830, up from 8,971 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County.
After the War of 1812, the U.S. government appropriated money to improve a route from Nashville to New Orleans. It was named Jackson's Military Road after Andrew Jackson, and it passed through what became Russellville. (Present-day Jackson Avenue and Jackson Highway, U.S. Route 43, follow portions of the original road.)
Russellville is named after Major William Russell, an early settler in the area who helped in the construction of Jackson's Military Road. The town grew at this road's intersection with the Gaines Trace.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Russellville AL
Picking the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Schools With Nursing Programs. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Russellville AL.
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