How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Sumiton Alabama
Choosing the best nursing college near Sumiton AL may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are a number of key additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Sumiton AL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular 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
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Sumiton AL may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered in Sumiton AL to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 typically a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Sumiton AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college in the Sumiton AL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction in Sumiton AL and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web in Sumiton AL, you can use the following guidelines to begin 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 lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Sumiton AL, which are frequently not available 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies 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 organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Sumiton 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 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 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 favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of Sumiton AL relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Sumiton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
About Sumiton Alabama
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,665 people, 1,096 households, and 780 families residing in the city. The population density was 504.9 people per square mile (194.9/km²). There were 1,205 housing units at an average density of 228.3 per square mile (88.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.21% White, 3.60% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. 0.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,096 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,364, and the median income for a family was $36,086. Males had a median income of $36,979 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,032. About 15.5% of families and 17.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.1% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Sumiton AL
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Sumiton AL.
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