How to Pick a Nursing College near Butler Alabama
Choosing the best nursing college near Butler AL may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are a number of essential additional things to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Butler AL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic 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 area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Butler AL may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from in Butler AL to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Butler AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college in the Butler AL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction in Butler AL and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in Butler AL, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Butler AL, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Butler 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 schools 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 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 good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of Butler AL contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Butler AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
About Butler Alabama
Butler County, Alabama
Butler County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,947. Its county seat is Greenville. Its name is in honor of Captain William Butler, who was born in Virginia and fought in the Creek War, and who was killed in May 1818.
Butler County was formed from Conecuh County, Alabama, and Monroe County, Alabama, by an act passed December 13, 1819, by the Legislature while in session at Huntsville. This was the first session of the Legislature of Alabama as a State. The name of Fairfield was first proposed for this county, but was changed on the passage of the bill to Butler, in honor of Captain William Butler.
The exact date of the first settlement made by white people in the limits of Butler County is not exactly known. Some records have it as early as 1814, but the earliest settler of no dispute is James K. Benson, who settled in the Flat in 1815, and built the first house ever erected in Butler County. It was built near where Pine Flat Methodist Church now stands, and was made of logs. Shortly after, William Ogly and John Dickerson came with their families and made a settlement on the Federal Road, about 3 miles (5 km) south of where Fort Dale was later erected. In the fall of 1816, a party from the state of Georgia came to settle in Pine Flat, including Thomas Hill, Warren A. Thompson, Captain John Watts, and Benjamin Hill. In 1817, many more settlers arrived.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,947 people residing in the county. 54.4% were White, 43.4% Black or African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 0.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Pick the Right RN Course near Butler AL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Butler AL.
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