How to Find the Right Nursing Training near Brewton Alabama
Choosing the right nursing program near Brewton AL may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Brewton AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available 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 as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Brewton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Brewton AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Brewton AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Brewton AL or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Brewton AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Brewton 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 Brewton AL medical 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Brewton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Brewton Nursing Degree Program
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Brewton AL.