How to Choose a Nursing College near Roanoke Alabama
Choosing the best nursing college near Roanoke AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order 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 potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing college. There are various essential additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Roanoke AL medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Roanoke 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Roanoke AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Roanoke AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Roanoke AL, which are oftentimes 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Roanoke 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Roanoke AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Roanoke AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Roanoke AL?
This was an area of historic occupation by the Creek before treaties to persuade the Native Americans to cede their land, followed by forced migration under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The area was part of a broad part of upland developed as cotton plantations worked by enslaved African Americans. The area is still quite rural.
Initially called High Pine in the 1830s after a nearby creek, it was allegedly burned during an Indian uprising in 1836. Renamed Chulafinee in 1840, it was later renamed again for the hometown of one of the early settlers, Roanoke, Virginia. The city was officially incorporated in December 1890.
Roanoke has three schools served by Roanoke City Schools: Knight Enloe Elementary (K-3), Handley Middle School (4-8), and Handley High School (9-12). On December 1, 2011, the Handley Tigers won the AHSAA Football Class 3A State Championship.
Choose the Right RN Program near Roanoke AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Roanoke AL.
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