How to Choose a Nursing Program near Boaz Alabama
Choosing the right nursing program near Boaz AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, 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 critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are many essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Boaz AL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular 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
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Boaz AL may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available in Boaz AL to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Boaz AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college in the Boaz AL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training in Boaz AL and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online in Boaz AL, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Boaz AL, which are often not offered 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) in addition to 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Boaz 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 colleges you are considering 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 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Boaz AL relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Boaz AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
About Boaz Alabama
Boaz is a city in Etowah and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Gadsden, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,551. Boaz is known mainly for its outlet shops.
First settled in the 1850s, the town of Boaz was officially founded November 11, 1878 by the Sparks Family of Georgia. A post office has been in operation since 1887. The city was named after Boaz, from the Hebrew Bible. It was incorporated in 1897.
Boaz is located in southeastern Marshall County at 34°12′10″N 86°9′38″W / 34.20278°N 86.16056°W / 34.20278; -86.16056 (34.202793, −86.160457), and extends south into Etowah County. It is bordered to the north by Albertville and to the southeast by Sardis City. U.S. Route 431 passes through the east side of the city, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Albertville and southeast 20 miles (32 km) to Gadsden. Boaz is located on top of Sand Mountain (a plateau), at an elevation of 1,080 feet (330 m) above sea level.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,551 people, 3,712 households, and 2,479 families residing in the city. The population density was 782.9 people per square mile (302.2/km2). There were 4,036 housing units at an average density of 330.8 per square mile (127.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.3% White, 1.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 14.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Boaz AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Boaz AL.
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