How to Pick a Nursing Degree Program near Brilliant Alabama
Choosing the best nursing program near Brilliant AL may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to explore before you decide 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, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Brilliant AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on 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 Brilliant AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Brilliant AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified 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 school for many Brilliant AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Brilliant AL or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Brilliant AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 contact some Brilliant 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 finish 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 good reputation within the Brilliant AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Brilliant AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Brilliant AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Brilliant 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.
In the late part of the 19th century, the discovery of coal led to the development of the Brilliant Coal Company, which was located adjacent to the town of Boston. The Brilliant Coal Company served as a catalyst for growth for the area and provided ample employment for more than 50 years.
In 1957 due to declines in industry and population the post office at Boston, Alabama was absorbed into the Brilliant, Alabama post office. The history of Boston, Alabama changed forever with the passage of Act 284 by the Alabama Legislature, which changed the name of the town of Boston to Brilliant.
From 1987 until 2000 the town was home to Brilliant Homes Ltd. a manufacturer of mobile homes. The company was acquired by American Homestar Corporation of League City, Texas in 1997. The plant was closed on April 15, 2000 due to declining sales throughout the manufactured housing industry. American Homestar Corporation subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy later in 2001.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Brilliant AL
Selecting the right nursing school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Brilliant AL.
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