How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Wildwood Georgia
Choosing the right nursing school near Wildwood GA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Wildwood GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered 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 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 Wildwood GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually 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.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically 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 pursue, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Wildwood GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Wildwood GA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more 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 job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Wildwood GA or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial 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 selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Wildwood GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wildwood GA 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Wildwood GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Wildwood GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wildwood GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wildwood 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.
Wildwood is a small unincorporated community located in the northeastern corner of Dade County, Georgia, United States. It is close to the Tennessee state line and the Chattanooga city limits, and is considered part of the Chattanooga metropolitan area. It sits in the diagonal valley between Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain, which runs through all of Dade County and is home to most of its population. According to the 2000 Census, the 30757 Zip Code Tabulation Area had a population of 1,923---accounting for approximately 12% of Dade County's population of 16,040. The noted Southern humorist George Washington Harris (1814–1869) is buried in the Brock Cemetery in Wildwood, GA. Although he was considered one of the seminal writers of Southern humor and greatly influenced the literary works of Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor, his grave was not officially identified and marked with a monument until 2008. Across the street from Brock Cemetery in Wildwood is Belvedere Plantation c. 1835, the oldest of the few remaining antebellum homes in the metro-Chattanooga area.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Wildwood GA
Enrolling in the right nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wildwood GA.
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The Georgia Nurses Association is the largest professional association for registered nurses in the State of Georgia. Our mission is empowering Georgia nurses to lead change and improve health. Our vision is to be the prominent association in Georgia transforming health through advancing the practice and profession of nursing.