How to Pick a Nursing School in Hayden Alabama
Finding the best nursing school near Hayden AL may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Hayden AL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Hayden AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Hayden AL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Hayden AL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hayden AL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hayden AL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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. 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Alabama. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Hayden AL home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Hayden AL along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Hayden AL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Hayden AL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Hayden AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Hayden AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Hayden AL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Hayden AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hayden AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Alabama