How to Find the Right Nursing College near Brookwood Alabama
Finding the best nursing school near Brookwood AL may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Brookwood AL medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Brookwood AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain 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 Alabama 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Brookwood AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Brookwood AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Brookwood AL, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Brookwood 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Brookwood AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Brookwood AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Brookwood AL?
Brookwood is a town in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in September 1977. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,828. It is part of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,483 people, 553 households, and 430 families residing in the town. The population density was 182.3 people per square mile (70.4/km2). There were 613 housing units at an average density of 75.4 per square mile (29.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.91% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. 0.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 553 households out of which 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.3% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.2% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.07.
Pick the Right RN College near Brookwood AL
Selecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Brookwood AL.
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