How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Shannon Alabama
Locating the right nursing school near Shannon AL may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Shannon AL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 Shannon AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Shannon AL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 may want 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Shannon AL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Shannon AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Shannon AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Alabama. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Shannon AL home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Shannon AL along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Shannon AL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together 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 important that the Shannon AL area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 Shannon AL 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Shannon AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Shannon AL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Shannon AL
Picking the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Shannon AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are several 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 profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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