How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Foley Alabama
Choosing the right nursing program near Foley AL may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing college. There are a number of key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Foley AL medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Foley 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 job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Foley AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Foley AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Foley AL, which are oftentimes not provided 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Foley 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Foley AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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. Check if the schools have associations with Foley AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Foley AL?
Foley is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 14,618. Foley is a principal city of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Baldwin County.
Foley was named for its founder, John B. Foley of Chicago. As Foley was traveling to President McKinley's funeral in 1901, he met a railroad agent who told him of the area in South Baldwin County. Foley came down the following year, and he liked what he saw and bought up to between 40,000 acres (160 km2) and 50,000 acres (200 km2) of land. He then returned to Chicago and formed the Magnolia Land Company. As he began to sell off acreage, he realized the need for a better way for the people to come to Foley.
Foley used some of his own money to lay the rails so the train could come from Bay Minette. The first railroad station was built in 1905. The original station burned in 1908 and was replaced the following year by the station that is now the City's museum. John Foley donated parcels of land for a school and churches. These included the current Catholic Church, Saint Margret of Scotland, the Baptist church and the Methodist church. The first train to service Foley was a wood burner called the "Pine Knot Special." It would leave Foley in the morning and make a return trip in the afternoon. As people cleared the land, they would place lighter knots in a wood box for the engineer to use as was needed. Foley was incorporated in 1915 with G. I. Weatherly serving as its first mayor.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Foley AL
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 Foley AL.
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