How to Pick a Nursing School near Willacoochee Georgia
Locating the best nursing program near Willacoochee GA may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Willacoochee GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 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 offered in the Willacoochee GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 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 alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Willacoochee GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Willacoochee GA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Willacoochee GA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Willacoochee GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Willacoochee GA 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Willacoochee GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Willacoochee GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Willacoochee GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Willacoochee Georgia 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,434 people, 526 households, and 369 families residing in the city. The population density was 378.0 people per square mile (146.1/km²). There were 655 housing units at an average density of 172.7 per square mile (66.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.79% White, 39.40% African American, 0.49% Asian, 8.65% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.76% of the population.
There were 526 households out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the city, the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Willacoochee GA
Picking the right nursing degree program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Willacoochee GA.
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