How to Choose a Nursing School in Lenox Georgia
Searching for the best nursing program near Lenox GA may seem like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Lenox GA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Lenox GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Lenox GA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Georgia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lenox GA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lenox GA. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 course of study effectively 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 instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lenox GA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Georgia to make certain that the training course 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Georgia. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Lenox GA home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Lenox GA and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Lenox GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lenox GA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Lenox GA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lenox GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Lenox GA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Lenox GA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lenox GA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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