How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Killen Alabama
Finding the best nursing college near Killen AL may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are many essential additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Killen AL medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Killen AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Alabama 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 obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Killen AL students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Killen AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first 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 ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Killen AL, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Killen 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Killen AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Killen AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Killen AL?
Killen is a town in Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". It was incorporated in 1957. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,108, down from its record high of 1,119 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,119 people, 435 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 585.0 people per square mile (226.2/km²). There were 484 housing units at an average density of 253.0 per square mile (97.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.26% White, 2.23% Black or African American, 0.45% Asian, 1.61% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. 2.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 435 households, 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 2.94.
Choose the Right RN College near Killen AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 licensed RN in Killen AL.
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