How to Select a Nursing Program near Thomasville Alabama
Selecting the right nursing school near Thomasville AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are various important additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Thomasville AL medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Thomasville AL may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available in Thomasville AL to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 received 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Thomasville AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college in the Thomasville AL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction in Thomasville AL and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number 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 convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online in Thomasville AL, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Thomasville AL, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Thomasville 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of Thomasville AL contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Thomasville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
About Thomasville Alabama
Thomasville is a city in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,209. Founded as a late 19th-century railroad town, it has transitioned over the course of more than a century into a 21st-century commercial hub. It is the childhood hometown of author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham.
Thomasville was founded in 1888 and incorporated on November 24 of that year. The former community of Choctaw Corner, dating back to the antebellum period, was a settlement west of what would become Thomasville, but when the merchants there learned that a railroad was going to bypass their town to the east, they decided to move their stores to be near the railroad. The former community is now inside the city limits. The tracks between Mobile and Selma were completed the same year that Thomasville began. First referred to as "Choctaw", the town was named after railroad financier and former Union Civil War general, Samuel Thomas, after he donated $500 for the construction of Thomasville's first school. The town had expanded by the end of the 19th century with numerous stores, several hotels and boarding houses, and a depot station. In 1899, what is now downtown was destroyed by a fire that burned several blocks of the wood frame buildings. Thomasville quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and was once again flourishing by the start of World War I.
Over the next century, Thomasville continued to grow and expand. Over the years, many businesses came and others left. These included garment factories, sawmills, and cotton gins. The railroad discontinued its use of the town's depot by the 1950s, but that time also saw the opening of Thomasville's FPS-35 radar base, part of the Air Defense Command's Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, bringing in servicemen and their families. The prototype for the FPS-35 radar was developed at the Thomasville Aircraft Control and Warning Station. The 1950s also saw the planting of roses along Highway 43, the main highway through Thomasville, earning it the nickname of The City of Roses. The 1960s and 1970s saw the opening of numerous paper mills in the area, an industry that continues to be important to the economy of Thomasville today. This time also saw businesses begin to relocate from downtown to the main highway. The Thomasville Historic District was designated in 1999 by the National Register of Historic Places.
Thomasville is located at coordinates 31°55′15″N 87°44′24″W / 31.92084°N 87.74008°W / 31.92084; -87.74008Coordinates: 31°55′15″N 87°44′24″W / 31.92084°N 87.74008°W / 31.92084; -87.74008. It is the northernmost incorporated settlement in Clarke County and is situated on an elevated area between the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers. The elevation is 381 feet (116 m). The terrain is gently rolling hills, covered primarily in pine forest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.8 square miles (23 km2), all land.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Thomasville AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Thomasville AL.
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