How to Choose a Nursing College near Clio Alabama
Choosing the right nursing school near Clio AL may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing school. There are several key additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Clio AL medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Clio AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Clio AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Clio AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Clio AL, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Clio 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Clio AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Clio AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Clio AL?
Clio is a city in Barbour County, Alabama, United States. The population was 1,399 at the 2010 census, down from 2,206 in 2000, at which time it was a town. It is the birthplace of former Alabama governor George C. Wallace, as well as Baseball Hall of Famer and current Atlanta Braves broadcaster Don Sutton.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,399 people, 514 households, and 321 families residing in the town. The population density was 139 people per square mile (53.7/km2). There were 634 housing units at an average density of 62.7 per square mile (24.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 36.5% Black or African American, 32.0% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 30.2% from other races, and .4% from two or more races. 36.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 514 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 19.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.37.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Clio AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Clio AL.
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