How to Choose a Nursing Program in Sharon Georgia
Searching for the best nursing school near Sharon GA may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Sharon GA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Sharon GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Sharon 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 just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries 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 preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Georgia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Sharon GA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change 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 credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sharon GA. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 guarantees 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.
Unlike 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 Sharon GA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Georgia. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Sharon GA home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Sharon GA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Sharon GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Sharon GA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Sharon 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Sharon 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 setting. Essentially all Sharon 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 too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Sharon GA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Sharon GA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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