How to Select a Nursing College in Albany Georgia
Searching for the right nursing school near Albany GA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Albany GA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Albany GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Albany GA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Georgia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Georgia 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 may 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Albany GA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Albany GA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 Albany GA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Georgia to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Georgia. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Albany GA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to 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 lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Albany GA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Albany GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Albany GA area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Albany GA 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Albany GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Albany GA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Albany GA
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Albany GA.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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