How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Excel Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college near Excel AL may feel like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are various essential additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Excel AL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Excel AL may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available in Excel AL 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 just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 might 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 generally a 2 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.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Excel AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college in the Excel AL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get training in Excel AL and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online in Excel AL, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Excel AL, which are frequently 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Excel 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 programs 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 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Excel AL contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Excel AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
About Excel Alabama
Excel is the birthplace of former University of Alabama and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan. Excel High School (3A) provides education for children in and around the town of Excel. Businesses within the town include Dollar General, post office, a "do-it-yourself" car wash, a laundromat, hardware store, a locally-run diner and one bank.
As of the census of 2010, there were 723 people, 270 households, and 205 families residing in the town. The population density was 425.3 people per square mile (168.1/km2). There were 295 housing units at an average density of 173.5 per square mile (68.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.1% White, 5.0% Black or African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.1% some other race, and 2.4% from two or more races. 0.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 270 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were headed by married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.4% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68, and the average family size was 3.11.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Excel AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Excel AL.
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