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Nursing School Degree Programs Prattville Alabama

How to Find the Right RN Course near Prattville AL

Prattville AL Nurse with Physician and PatientFinding the best nursing program near Prattville AL may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Prattville AL RN taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Prattville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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.

Nursing Degree Options

Prattville Alabama Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Prattville Alabama area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two 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.

When 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.

Online Nursing Schools

Prattville AL student attending nursing school onlineAttending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest 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 Prattville AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an indispensable component of a Prattville AL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

what to ask Prattville AL nursing degree schoolsNow that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Prattville AL or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Alabama for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Prattville 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Prattville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Prattville AL area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right Prattville AL Nursing School

Prattville AL nurse holding newbornEnrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Prattville AL.