How to Select a Nursing School near Abbeville Alabama
Selecting the right nursing program near Abbeville AL may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Abbeville AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Abbeville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving 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 received 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice 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, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Abbeville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Abbeville AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Abbeville AL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Abbeville AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Abbeville 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 finish 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 superb reputation within the Abbeville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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 as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Abbeville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Abbeville AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Abbeville Alabama area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,688. The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
Abbeville is located at 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139Coordinates: 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139 (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Abbeville AL
Choosing the right nursing program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Abbeville AL.
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