How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Pelham Alabama
Finding the right nursing program near Pelham AL may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination 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 most ideal way to pick a nursing school. There are many important additional factors to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Pelham AL medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pelham AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 achieving 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 attained 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Pelham AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited 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 Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Pelham AL area and throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Pelham AL, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Pelham 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 schools you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Pelham AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Pelham AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Pelham AL?
Pelham is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in July 1964. At the 2000 census the population was 14,369, but has grown to 21,352 recorded by the 2010 census. It was named for Confederate American Civil War officer John Pelham.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,369 people, 5,637 households, and 4,002 families residing in the city. The population density was 378.2 people per square mile (146.0/km²). There were 5,894 housing units at an average density of 155.1 per square mile (59.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.02% White, 3.97% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.68% Asian, 2.82% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 6.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,637 households out of which 35.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.05.
Choose the Right RN College near Pelham AL
Picking the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Pelham AL.
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