How to Choose a Nursing School near Laceys Spring Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college near Laceys Spring AL may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Laceys Spring AL medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 common 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Laceys Spring AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 obtaining 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 attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number 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 convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many Laceys Spring AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Laceys Spring AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense 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 only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Laceys Spring AL, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential 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. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Laceys Spring 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Laceys Spring AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Laceys Spring AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Laceys Spring AL?
Lacey's Spring, Alabama
Lacey's Spring is an unincorporated community in northeastern Morgan County, Alabama, United States at the base of Brindlee Mountain. It is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Laceys Spring AL
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Laceys Spring AL.
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