How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Williamson Georgia
Choosing the right nursing college near Williamson GA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Williamson GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Williamson GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available 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 subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Various other 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 Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Williamson GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Williamson GA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Williamson GA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points 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 pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Williamson GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Williamson 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Williamson GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Williamson GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Williamson GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Williamson 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 297 people, 115 households, and 86 families residing in the town. The population density was 495.6 people per square mile (191.1/km²). There were 122 housing units at an average density of 203.6 per square mile (78.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 85.19% White, 13.80% African American, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.
There were 115 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the town, the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.3 males.
Select the Right Nursing School near Williamson GA
Enrolling in the right nursing school is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Williamson GA.
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