How to Pick a Nursing College near Loxley Alabama
Locating the right nursing program near Loxley AL may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing college. There are several crucial additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Loxley AL medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job 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 as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Loxley AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Alabama 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many Loxley AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Loxley AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Loxley AL, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specified 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Loxley 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 programs you are looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Loxley AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Loxley AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Loxley AL?
Loxley is a town in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 1,632. It is part of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area. Loxley is becoming a popular location for the expansion of the suburbs from Daphne and Spanish Fort, Alabama, because it is served by an Interstate 10 exit and is almost directly between the cities of Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.
In 1870, a man from Chicago by the name of John Loxley established a lumber camp in the area previously known as Bennet. The lumber camp included a commissary and saw mill. The men that traveled with Loxley settled in what later became the town of Loxley. John Loxley returned to Chicago when the lumber was exhausted.
The train depot opened on May 5, 1906, on the Fort Morgan Line. Before that, there were only wagon roads to Bay Minette. Also in 1906, the Loxley post office was opened by Octavia Sauer. She served as the postmistress and depot agent. By 1920, the businesses in Loxley consisted of an egg store, grocery store, two general merchandise stores, train depot, drug store, telegraph office, land office, repair garage, post office, bank, hotel, butcher shop, orange packing shed, cement block plant, a blacksmith, a feed and lumber store. A grammar school was built in 1925.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Loxley AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical 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 list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Loxley AL.
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