How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Daleville Alabama
Locating the right nursing program near Daleville AL may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Daleville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Daleville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at 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 might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Daleville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many Daleville AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Daleville AL or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Daleville AL 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. Certain states require a certain 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 provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Daleville 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Daleville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Daleville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right Daleville Nursing Degree Program
Selecting the right registered nursing program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Daleville AL.