How to Pick a Nursing Program in Loxley Alabama
Finding the right nursing program in Loxley AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Loxley AL. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Loxley 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Loxley AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Loxley AL medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Loxley AL 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 might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job 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.
After a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Loxley AL board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Loxley AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Loxley AL to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Loxley AL healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Loxley AL and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in Loxley AL.
- 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) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Loxley AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 Loxley AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Loxley AL clinical environment. Virtually all Alabama nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various 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 placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program in Loxley AL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Loxley AL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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