How to Pick a Nursing College in Axis Alabama
Selecting the best nursing school in Axis AL may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to check into 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 Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Axis AL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Axis AL with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. 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, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Axis AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Axis AL medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Axis AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she 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 check with the Axis AL board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 Axis AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Axis AL to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as 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 Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Axis AL healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Axis AL and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in Axis AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Axis AL 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Axis AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Axis AL clinical setting. Essentially all Alabama nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in Axis AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Axis AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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