How to Select a Nursing College near Burnwell Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college near Burnwell AL may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Burnwell AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Burnwell AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 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 focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 course of study effectively 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Burnwell AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Burnwell AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Burnwell AL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Burnwell 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Burnwell 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Burnwell AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Burnwell AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Burnwell AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Burnwell 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.
Walker County, Alabama
Walker County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,023. Its county seat is Jasper. Its name is in honor of John Williams Walker, a member of the United States Senate.
Walker County was established on December 26, 1823, and formed from sections of Marion and Tuscaloosa counties. It was named after Senator John Walker, who represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate from 1819 to 1822. The county was greatly reduced in size on February 12, 1850, when its northern half became the county of Winston. Jasper is the county seat, named after William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero from South Carolina.
Walker County has sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the Bankhead House, Boshell's Mill, the First United Methodist Church of Jasper, the Gilchrist House, the Jasper Downtown Historic District, the Stephenson House, and Walker County Hospital.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Burnwell AL
Selecting the right nursing degree program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Burnwell AL.
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