How to Find the Right Nursing College near Union Springs Alabama
Locating the right nursing program near Union Springs AL may feel like a complicated 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 must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing college. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Union Springs AL medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Union Springs AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies 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 more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Union Springs AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue 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 Degree Programs
Once 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Union Springs AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Union Springs AL, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Union Springs 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Union Springs AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Union Springs AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Union Springs AL?
Union Springs, Alabama
The area that became Union Springs was first settled by white men after the Creek Indian removal of the 1830s. Twenty-seven springs watered the land, giving rise to the name of Union Springs. The city was incorporated on January 13, 1844. When Bullock County was formed in 1866, voters selected Union Springs as the county seat.
Union Springs is located in southeastern Alabama near the center of Bullock County at 32°8'24.407" North, 85°42'46.094" West (32.140113, -85.712804). The source of the Conecuh River is within the city limits.
The city is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 82 and U.S. Route 29. Route 82 leads east 40 miles (64 km) to Eufaula and northwest 46 miles (74 km) to Montgomery, the state capital. Route 29 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Tuskegee and southwest 40 miles (64 km) to Troy.
Pick the Right RN Program near Union Springs AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Union Springs AL.
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