How to Pick a Nursing College in Bartow Georgia
Selecting the best nursing school near Bartow GA may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bartow GA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Bartow GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Bartow GA. 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 continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Georgia community colleges. It readies 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 obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Georgia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bartow GA or concentrate 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bartow GA. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bartow GA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Georgia 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 Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Georgia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Bartow GA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Bartow GA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Bartow GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Bartow GA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online 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. Also, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Bartow GA 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Bartow GA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Bartow GA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Bartow GA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bartow GA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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