How to Select a Nursing College in Thomson Georgia
Searching for the best nursing program near Thomson GA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision 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, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Thomson GA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Thomson GA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Thomson 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 two years, or advance to earn 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 normally a two year program made available by Georgia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Georgia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Thomson GA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Thomson GA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option 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 supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thomson GA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Georgia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Thomson GA home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Thomson GA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Thomson GA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 essential that the Thomson GA area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, 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 Thomson 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Thomson GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Thomson GA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Thomson GA
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 licensed registered nurse in Thomson GA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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