How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Walnut Grove Alabama
Searching for the best nursing college near Walnut Grove AL may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure 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 proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are several crucial additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Walnut Grove AL medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Walnut Grove AL may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 to choose from in Walnut Grove AL to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing can 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 generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Walnut Grove AL, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike 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 Walnut Grove AL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction in Walnut Grove AL and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web in Walnut Grove AL, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Walnut Grove 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Walnut Grove 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 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Walnut Grove AL relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 as well. Check if the schools have associations with Walnut Grove AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
About Walnut Grove Alabama
Walnut Grove, Alabama
Walnut Grove is a town in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 698. From 1880 until the 1960 U.S. Census, with the exclusion of 1890 when no figure was reported, Walnut Grove had the distinction of being the least populated community wholly within Etowah County. It lost that distinction in 1970 to newly incorporated Ridgeville which has held the title since.
Walnut Grove was part of Blount County before it was included in Baine County (now Etowah) in 1866. Walnut Grove was settled by the Battles family in 1813, the Morton family, and the Carnes family (namesake of the Carnes Chapel area near the ghost town of Bennettsville off of US 278) in 1823. Around 1825, the town was known as "Thomas Crossroads", after landowner Jordan D. Thomas. In 1848, the town was named "Cornelius", after postmaster Harvey Cornelius. In 1849, it was renamed "Walnut Grove".
The first college preparatory school for males and females in northeast Alabama was established by act of Legislature in 1884. The Walnut Grove College ran for 15 years, and during the college's peak the town had grown to have 13 stores, including a drug store with a soda fountain. The Walnut Grove College closed in 1899 as high schools were being established in Etowah County.
In 1917, the finest grade of magnesium was discovered near Silver Gap at Red Mountain, at the western edge of town. The magnesium was mined and refined by Bessemer Mills in Birmingham and Eastman Corporation in Kingsport, Tennessee, in the 1930s and 1940s.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Walnut Grove AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Walnut Grove AL.
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