How to Find the Right Nursing School in Addison Alabama
Selecting the right nursing program near Addison AL may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Addison AL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Addison AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Addison AL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief 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 readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced 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 allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Addison AL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Addison AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Addison AL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Alabama. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified 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 Addison AL home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Addison AL as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points 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 selection 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. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Addison 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Addison AL area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Addison 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 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 superb reputation within the Addison AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Addison AL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Addison AL
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Addison AL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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