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How to Choose the Best Nursing Training Program near Pike Road Alabama

Pike Road Alabama RN examining man with stethoscopeSelecting the best nursing program near Pike Road AL may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Pike Road Alabama RN taking blodd pressure of senior woman

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Pike Road AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing College Degrees

There are several degree options offered 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 just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Pike Road AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 may wish 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Schools

Pike Road Alabama RN holding health fileEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Pike Road AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of 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 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, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an indispensable component of a Pike Road AL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing 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 notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is appealing to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses provide personal patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

Nurse interacting with Pike Road Alabama nursing home patientOnce you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Pike Road AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Pike Road AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Pike Road 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Pike Road AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Pike Road AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Classes in Pike Road

Choose the Best Alabama RN School

Deciding on the ideal nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pike Road Alabama.


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