How to Pick the Right RN College near Cottondale Florida
Selecting the right nursing program near Cottondale FL may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered along with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Cottondale FL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 2 year program after achieving 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 acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an essential part of a Cottondale FL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including home care facilities, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Cottondale FL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Cottondale FL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Cottondale FL or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Cottondale FL 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cottondale FL 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 looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Cottondale FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Cottondale FL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Compare RN Training Programs Online Cottondale Florida
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Compare RN Training Programs Online and wanting more information on the topic How Many Years To Become A Nurse.. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 Cottondale FL.
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Cottondale, with convenient four-lane highway access to both Dothan, Alabama, and Panama City, Florida, was a scheduled stop for Amtrak's Sunset Limited from 1993 to 2005, when damage to railroad lines and bridges resulted in curtailment of the train's route east of New Orleans. Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad acquired most of the CSX main line from Pensacola to Jacksonville on June 1, 2019.
Cottondale is located in western Jackson County at 30°47′49″N 85°22′34″W / 30.79694°N 85.37611°W / 30.79694; -85.37611 (30.796810, -85.376031).U.S. Route 90 passes through the south side of town on Levy Street. US-90 leads east 9 miles (14 km) to Marianna, the Jackson county seat, and west 10 miles (16 km) to Chipley. U.S. Route 231 runs through the center of Cottondale as Main Street, leading north 31 miles (50 km) to Dothan, Alabama, and south 51 miles (82 km) to Panama City, Florida. US-231 crosses Interstate 10 3 miles (5 km) south of Cottondale; I-10 leads east 72 miles (116 km) to Tallahassee and west 120 miles (190 km) to Pensacola.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.0 km2), of which 3.3 square miles (8.6 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 3.87%, are water.
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