How to Find the Right Nursing School in Clanton Alabama
Selecting the best nursing school in Clanton AL may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional things to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system in Clanton AL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Clanton AL with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Clanton AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Clanton AL medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Clanton AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Clanton AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Clanton AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Clanton AL to make sure 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Clanton AL healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Clanton AL and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Clanton AL.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Clanton 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 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 displeased 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 Clanton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Clanton AL clinical setting. Essentially all Alabama nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College in Clanton AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Clanton AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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