How to Pick a Nursing School in Lithia Springs Georgia
Choosing the right nursing program near Lithia Springs GA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lithia Springs GA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to 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 more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Lithia Springs GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lithia Springs GA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Georgia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including 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 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 desire 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lithia Springs GA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lithia Springs GA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lithia Springs GA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Georgia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for 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 Lithia Springs GA home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Lithia Springs GA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Lithia Springs GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lithia Springs GA area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 local Lithia Springs 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lithia Springs GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Lithia Springs GA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Lithia Springs GA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college 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 select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lithia Springs GA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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