How to Pick a Nursing School in Killen Alabama
Choosing the right nursing college in Killen AL 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, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system in Killen AL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Killen AL 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Killen AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Killen AL healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher 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 Killen AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Killen AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Killen AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction 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 required to have 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 instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Killen AL to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Killen AL healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Killen AL and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly 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 before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Killen AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Killen 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Killen AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Killen AL clinical setting. Almost all Alabama nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School in Killen AL
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Killen AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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