How to Select a Nursing College in Lawrenceville Georgia
Finding the best nursing college near Lawrenceville GA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Lawrenceville GA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment 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. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Lawrenceville GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lawrenceville GA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Georgia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lawrenceville GA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he 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 make sure to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lawrenceville GA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lawrenceville GA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Georgia to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Georgia. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Lawrenceville GA home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Lawrenceville GA as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Lawrenceville 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lawrenceville GA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Georgia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Lawrenceville 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lawrenceville GA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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 Lawrenceville GA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Lawrenceville GA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school 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 develop a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lawrenceville GA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping 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 compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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