How to Pick a Nursing School near Vernon Alabama
Searching for the best nursing college near Vernon AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing college. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Vernon AL medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Vernon AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available 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 subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Vernon AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Vernon AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Vernon AL, which are often 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Vernon AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Vernon AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Vernon AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Vernon AL?
Vernon is a city in Lamar County, Alabama, United States. The city is the county seat of Lamar County, and previously served as the seat of its two predecessors, Jones County (not to be confused with Covington County), which briefly existed in 1867, and for Sanford County from 1868 until it was renamed Lamar in 1877. It incorporated in 1870. At the 2010 census the population was 2,000, down from 2,143 in 2000. It is the largest city in Lamar County as of 2010, and previously held the distinction in 1880 and from 1960-1990, falling to 2nd place in 2000 behind Sulligent, but since reclaiming the title.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,143 people, 953 households, and 630 families residing in the city. The population density was 362.2 people per square mile (139.8/km²). There were 1,070 housing units at an average density of 180.9 per square mile (69.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.19% White, 12.65% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.05% Asian, and 0.89% from two or more races. 0.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 953 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.75.
Select the Right RN School near Vernon AL
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Vernon AL.
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