How to Pick the Right Nursing Training near Moores Mill Alabama
Searching for the right nursing school near Moores Mill AL may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Moores Mill AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid 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 portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance 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 Moores Mill AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Moores Mill AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some Moores Mill AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Moores Mill AL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Moores Mill AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. 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 enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online 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. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Moores Mill AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 Moores Mill AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Moores Mill AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Moores Mill Nursing Degree Program
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Moores Mill AL.