How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Bankston Alabama
Locating the best nursing program near Bankston AL may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Bankston AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bankston AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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 change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
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, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 instruction can be received at Bankston AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Bankston AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Bankston AL or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Bankston AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bankston 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bankston AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Bankston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Bankston AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bankston 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.
Jesse Homer Bankston Sr. (October 7, 1907 – November 25, 2010) was a politician within the Democratic Party of Louisiana, a businessman, and, at his death at the age of 103, a member of the board of Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Bankston became involved in a dispute in 1959 with Governor Earl Kemp Long which led to Bankston's dismissal as the director of the State Department of Hospitals. Long's estranged wife, Blanche Revere Long, had committed him to the Southeast Louisiana (Mental) Hospital in Mandeville.
Long ordered Bankston, an otherwise loyal supporter, to discharge him, but Bankston refused because he believed that Long needed treatment; his recent behavior had been erratic. With the affirmation of Lieutenant Governor Lether Frazar, Attorney General Jack P.F. Gremillion, and the Senate President Pro Tempore, Long fired Bankston and replaced him with a pliable supporter, who immediately took steps to release the governor from the hospital. During this confrontation, Bankston was also at odds with his political ally, State Senator Sixty Rayburn of Bogalusa in Washington Parish, who remained steadfast to Long.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Bankston AL
Deciding on the right nursing program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Bankston AL.
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