How to Find the Right Nursing College in Dixons Mills Alabama
Selecting the best nursing school near Dixons Mills AL may seem like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Dixons Mills AL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 in Dixons Mills AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Dixons Mills AL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers 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 comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Alabama 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Dixons Mills AL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Dixons Mills AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dixons Mills AL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the education is state approved. 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
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Alabama. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Dixons Mills AL home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Dixons Mills AL along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Dixons Mills AL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Dixons Mills AL area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Dixons Mills AL 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 colleges 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Dixons Mills AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Dixons Mills AL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Dixons Mills AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dixons Mills AL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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