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How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Course near Rainbow City Alabama

Rainbow City Alabama Nurse examining man with stethoscopeSearching for the best nursing program near Rainbow City AL may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Rainbow City Alabama nurse reading blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Rainbow City AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid 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 as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide 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 attend 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 six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Rainbow City AL area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Degrees

Rainbow City Alabama RN holding medical chartAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Rainbow City AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an important part of a Rainbow City AL medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most notable are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

RN reading with Rainbow City Alabama assisted living patientOnce you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Rainbow City AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, 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 to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Rainbow City AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Rainbow City 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Rainbow City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Rainbow City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Schools in Rainbow City

Enroll in the Right Alabama RN College

Enrolling in the right nursing school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Rainbow City Alabama.


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