RN Nursing Programs in Albany KY 42602

How to Choose a Nursing School in Albany Kentucky

Albany KY Registered NurseSearching for the right nursing college near Albany KY may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Albany KY healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular 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
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Albany KY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Albany KY. 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Kentucky community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Kentucky 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Albany KY or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Training

RN assisting surgeon in Albany KYThere are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Albany KY. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Albany KY area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Kentucky to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with 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 Programs

attending nursing school online in Albany KYEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Kentucky. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Albany KY home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Albany KY as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.

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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Albany KY.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Albany KY area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Albany KY 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Albany KY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.

Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Albany KY 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. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Right RN Program near Albany KY

Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Albany KY.

Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?

When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.

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