How to Pick a Nursing School near Cardiff Alabama
Searching for the right nursing school near Cardiff AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Cardiff AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cardiff AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 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 usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, 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 option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Cardiff AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 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 each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount 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 accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Cardiff AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward 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 Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Cardiff AL or online, you can use the following pointers to start 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 necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Cardiff AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cardiff AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 Cardiff AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Cardiff AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Cardiff AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cardiff 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.
Cardiff is a town in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States west of Gardendale. At the 2010 census the population was 55, placing it as the least-populated incorporated area in Jefferson County. It is named after the capital of Wales. It is one of four Jefferson County cities named after cities in Great Britain, the others being Birmingham, Leeds and Brighton.
Cardiff is located at 33°38′43″N 86°55′59″W / 33.64528°N 86.93306°W / 33.64528; -86.93306 (33.645384, −86.932965). on Five Mile Creek, a tributary of the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River. It is immediately downstream of Brookside. The region is part of the Cumberland Plateau, with shallow but deeply incised stream valleys dissecting sedimentary rock, including significant seams of bituminous coal.
As of the census of 2000, there were 82 people, 33 households, and 26 families residing in the town. The population density was 401.3 people per square mile (158.3/km2). There were 38 housing units at an average density of 186.0 per square mile (73.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 93.90% White and 6.10% Black or African American.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Cardiff AL
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cardiff AL.
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