How to Find the Right Nursing College near Hodges Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college near Hodges AL may feel like a complex endeavor, 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 acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regretably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Hodges AL medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hodges AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Hodges AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Hodges AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select 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 primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Hodges AL, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check 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. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hodges 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hodges AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Hodges AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Hodges AL?
A community known as "Reid Brake" was established at what is now Hodges in the 1880s. The current town was established in 1907 as a stop along the Illinois Central Railroad and named for a prominent local family. The town incorporated in 1913, and reincorporated in 1919.
Hodges is located in southern Franklin County at 34°19′49″N 87°55′39″W / 34.33028°N 87.92750°W / 34.33028; -87.92750 (34.330242, -87.927394). The southern border of the town follows the Marion County line. Alabama State Route 172 passes through the town, leading northwest 9 miles (14 km) to Vina and southeast 7 miles (11 km) to Hackleburg. Alabama State Route 187 leads northeast from the center of Hodges 13 miles (21 km) to Belgreen.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.15%, is water. The town sits on the Tennessee Valley Divide, with the east side draining to Bear Creek, a north-flowing tributary of the Tennessee River, and the west side draining via Skirum Branch to Bull Mountain Creek, a west-flowing tributary of the Tombigbee River. 2 miles (3 km) north of Hodges is Rock Bridge Canyon Park, on bluffs overlooking Bear Creek.
Select the Right RN Course near Hodges AL
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Hodges AL.
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