How to Select a Nursing School near Valley Alabama
Selecting the best nursing college near Valley AL may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Valley AL medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact 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
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Valley AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 commonly a two 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.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Valley AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper 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 numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Valley AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Valley AL, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet 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 each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Valley 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 considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Valley AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Valley AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Valley AL?
Chambers County, Alabama
Chambers County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 34,215. Its county seat is Lafayette. Its name is in honor of Henry H. Chambers, who served as a United States Senator from Alabama.
Chambers County joined its four mill cities to make the city of Valley (which is now the largest city). Valley is rapidly increasing in size and located between Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.
As of the census of 2010, there were 34,215 people, 13,933 households, and 9,391 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km2). There were 17,004 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 58.8% White (non-Hispanic), 38.7% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 1.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right RN Course near Valley AL
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Valley AL.
More Fabulous Cities in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 66