How to Pick a Nursing Program near Clanton Alabama
Choosing the best nursing school near Clanton AL may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing college. There are many key additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Clanton AL medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 several degree options available 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 continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Clanton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Clanton AL students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Clanton 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 earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Clanton AL, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Clanton 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Clanton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Clanton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Clanton AL?
Clanton is a city in Chilton County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 8,619. The city is the county seat of Chilton County. Clanton is near the site of the geographic center of the U.S state of Alabama.
The town was founded by Alfred Baker in 1868, when Chilton County was formed. Prior to establishment in 1868, the Town of Clanton was known as the community of "Goose Pond". Baker County was renamed to Chilton County and the community of "Goose Pond" became the Town of Clanton. Clanton was named in honor of General James H. Clanton, a brigadier in the Confederate States Army, and was incorporated on April 23, 1873. Baker was also elected first mayor of the town.
Nearby Lay Lake Dam and Mitchell Dam became Alabama Power's first two dams in the state, bringing economic improvements to the area. Immigrants played a part in starting the county's peach industry more than a century ago. Today, the peach industry is the number one industry in Chilton County, not only bringing fame to the county, but also millions of dollars to the local economy. The city of Clanton constructed a water tower in the form of a peach in 1993, becoming a landmark for travelers along Interstate 65.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Clanton AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Clanton AL.
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