Find Top Nursing Schools near Hartselle AL 35640

How to Select a Nursing College near Hartselle Alabama

Hartselle AL nurse attending to senior patientLocating the right nursing school near Hartselle AL may seem like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are several important additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Hartselle AL registered nurseRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Hartselle AL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree in Hartselle AL may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees available in Hartselle 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve 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 made available by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance 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 two 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 obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hartselle AL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college in the Hartselle AL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Programs

attending nursing school online in Hartselle ALAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive training in Hartselle AL and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in Hartselle AL, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Hartselle AL, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Hartselle 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of Hartselle AL contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Hartselle AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

About Hartselle Alabama

Hartselle, Alabama

Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, Alabama, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Decatur, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.

As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad's owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875.[3] Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1916.

Hartselle is located at 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028Coordinates: 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028 (34.440383, -86.940385).[4]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 12,019 people, 4,816 households, and 3,534 families residing in the city. The population density was 809.0 people per square mile (312.3/km²). There were 5,170 housing units at an average density of 348.0 per square mile (134.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.25% White, 5.16% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Hartselle AL

Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Hartselle AL.

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