How to Find the Right Nursing College near Columbia Alabama
Locating the right nursing college near Columbia AL may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Columbia AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 instance, 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.
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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Columbia AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he 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 make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Columbia AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one 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 training, 16 of which must 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 specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Columbia AL students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Columbia AL or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Columbia 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Columbia 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Columbia AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Columbia AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Columbia AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Columbia 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.
At the age of 18 Columbia was hired to assist Bill Sienkiewicz in illustrating Alan Moore's ambitious Big Numbers series. When Sienkiewicz withdrew from the series in 1990 after the release of the first two issues, Moore and his backers at Tundra Publishing asked the young Columbia to become its sole artist. In 1992, with no more issues released, Columbia himself left the project under a cloud of rumors and accusations, including claims that he had destroyed his own artwork for Big Numbers #4. Columbia declined to address the subject publicly for several years, writing in a 1998 letter to The Comics Journal that "I could easily launch into a tirade about the extensive horror of my Tundra experience, but I much prefer the very entertaining and conflicting accounts already in circulation." In later statements he confirmed that he destroyed his artwork but disputed other claims by the principal figures in the fiasco.
In a 2011 article reflecting on his Big Numbers experience, Sienkiewicz wrote that he and Columbia had long since reconciled over the matter, and that he was content to "[c]halk the feud up to the folly of youth."
Columbia's first solo comic book, Doghead, was released by Tundra Publishing in 1992. It contains three short stories, two in black and white and one in full color. Paul Gravett described it as "three dark, stylish tales, indebted to Sienkiewicz and McKean but with hints of [Columbia's] emerging singular identity".
Pick the Right Nursing College near Columbia AL
Choosing the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Columbia AL.
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