How to Pick a Nursing School near Boykin Alabama
Choosing the best nursing program near Boykin AL may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently 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 choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Boykin AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend 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 short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Boykin AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) in order to become licensed. Additional 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 Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Boykin AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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 course 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 Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Boykin AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Boykin AL or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Boykin 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) along 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Boykin 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Boykin AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Boykin AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Boykin AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Boykin 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.
Boykin, also known as Gee's Bend, is an African American majority community and census-designated place in a large bend of the Alabama River in Wilcox County, Alabama. As of the 2010 census, its population was 275. The Boykin Post Office was established in the community in 1949 and remains active, servicing the 36723 ZIP code.
Gee's Bend was named for Joseph Gee, an early large land owner from Halifax County, North Carolina who settled here in 1816. Gee brought 18 African American slaves with him and established a cotton plantation within the bend.
Boykin is a block of land enclosed on three sides by the Alabama River, within a horseshoe shaped turn of the river named Gee's Bend. It is within the Black Belt of Alabama. The plantation started by Joseph Gee passed to his nephews Sterling and Charles Gee upon his death, along with 47 slaves. The brothers then sold it to their relative Mark H. Pettway in 1845 to settle a $29,000 debt. About a year later, the Pettway family moved from North Carolina to Gee's Bend, bringing about one hundred slaves with them. When slavery was abolished many of them continued working for the Pettways as sharecroppers. Many of the black tenants Arthur Rothstein photographed were named Pettway. The white Pettway family owned the property until 1895, when it was sold to Adrian Sebastian Van de Graaff. Van de Graaff, a lawyer from Tuscaloosa, then operated it as an absentee landlord.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Boykin AL
Enrolling in the right nursing college is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Boykin AL.
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