How to Find the Right Nursing College near Auburn University Alabama
Locating the right nursing college near Auburn University AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Auburn University AL medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Auburn University AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally 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.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Auburn University AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Courses
Once 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 realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Auburn University AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Auburn University AL, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Auburn University AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Auburn University AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Auburn University AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Auburn University AL?
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a land-grant and public research university in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn University is one of the state's two public flagship universities.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Select the Right RN College near Auburn University AL
Selecting the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Auburn University AL.
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