How to Select a Nursing School in Fitzgerald Georgia
Locating the right nursing program near Fitzgerald GA may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best 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 explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job 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 largest occupation in the Fitzgerald GA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Fitzgerald GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Fitzgerald GA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Georgia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Fitzgerald GA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Fitzgerald GA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Fitzgerald GA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Georgia to make sure that the training 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Georgia. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Fitzgerald GA home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Fitzgerald GA along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Fitzgerald GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Fitzgerald GA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Fitzgerald 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Fitzgerald GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Fitzgerald GA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Fitzgerald GA
Picking the right registered nursing school is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fitzgerald GA.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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