How to Select an Accredited Nursing College near Gardendale Alabama
Selecting the right nursing program near Gardendale AL may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
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There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Gardendale AL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at 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 might want 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an indispensable part of a Gardendale AL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive 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, including home care facilities, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver primary patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Gardendale AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Gardendale AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Gardendale AL or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Gardendale AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Gardendale AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Gardendale AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Gardendale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Affordable RN Training Gardendale Alabama
Selecting the right nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Affordable RN Training and wanting more information on the topic How to Enroll in RN Programs Near Me.. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Gardendale AL.
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A large farm settlement near the area today known as Gardendale was settled around 1825. Some years later, other settlers began to move into the community commonly known as Jugtown, a name given to the area based on the presence of a large jug and churn factory that operated in the area. Some years later, Hettie Thomason Cargo, a school teacher, would lead a campaign to change the name of the community. In 1906, the name Gardendale was selected, and in 1955, the City of Gardendale was officially incorporated. Today, with more than 13,000 residents (estimated), the city of Gardendale has grown to include more than 400 businesses, 4 schools, and 24 churches.
In 1996, the Olympic torch run passed through the city during the weeks leading up to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Before Interstate 65 was constructed, the main route between Nashville, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama was U.S. Route 31. Prior to being built as a four-lane road, U.S. 31 was a twisting two-lane road that is still largely visible today. From the north end of Gardendale, it is now Snow Rogers Road, North Road, Moncrief Road, and then Main Street southward through the city to the Fultondale city limit where it becomes Stouts Road. In the fall of 2008, new signs were placed along the original route of Stouts Road through Gardendale denoting its historical significance as a stagecoach route between Tennessee and Birmingham during the 19th century. The first traffic signals in the city were located along U.S. 31 at Tarrant Road, Fieldstown Road, and Moncrief Road as well as Tarrant Road at Pineywood Road. A new signal at the intersection of Fieldstown Road and Main Street near city hall replaced a blinking signal shortly thereafter. Fieldstown Road was a narrow two lane road from U.S. 31 westward until Interstate 65 was built and then Fieldstown Road was re-routed onto the new road in the mid-1980s. An abundance of traffic signals have been erected in the city since those early days. In approximately 1970, the city installed street lights along U.S. 31 from the Fultondale city limits northward to the Moncrief Road intersection. The technology at that time was for blue vapor lights. Today, nearly 40 years later those same blue vapor lights still exist with some being replaced with the more modern bulbs near major intersections. Since 1980, Gardendale has annexed considerable amounts of land on the north, east, and west sides. Much of the eastern area is uninhabited. The western annexation is centered along Fieldstown Road. Most of the newest residential development has been in this area and along Shady Grove Road south of Fieldstown Road. The northern annexation has centered along US 31 and extends nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) farther north than 1980. The city has a working historical society, established January 23, 2006, that is working to record the history of the Gardendale area. They have a museum that is open to the public on Saturday mornings each week. It contains a variety of photographs, documents, and other historical memorabilia from Gardendale.
Gardendale is located at 33°39′36″N 86°48′46″W / 33.66000°N 86.81278°W / 33.66000; -86.81278 (33.6601033, -86.8127702). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.0 square miles (47 km2), all land. However, with the recent annexation of several thousand acres from the community of Mt. Olive and other unincorporated areas, the city now has an estimated total area of around 25.0 square miles (65 km2). Gardendale is situated along one of the three major transportation corridors from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast (I-75, I-65, I-55). A tremendous volume of freight (via rail and truck) passes through or near Gardendale.
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