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AWARD OFFERED Associate in Applied Science Degree, RN; Certificate, LPN
"The mission of the Wallace State Department of Nursing is to promote standards of excellence in nursing education through student-centered learning while emphasizing integrity, compassion, resourcefulness, and diversity. The Department of Nursing will produce graduates who are dedicated and exceptional healthcare providers committed to transforming the lives of patients, families, and the community."
Registered nurses (RNs), regardless of specialty or work setting, perform basic duties that include treating patients, educating patients and the public about various medical conditions, and providing advice and emotional support to patients and family members. RNs record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help to perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient followup and rehabilitation. RNs can specialize in one or more patient care specialties often divided by work setting or type of treatment, disease or ailment, organ or body system, or population. RNs may combine specialties from more than one area—for example, pediatric oncology or cardiac emergency—depending on personal interest and employer needs.
Most RNs work as staff nurses, providing critical health care services along with physicians, surgeons, and other health care practitioners. However, some RNs choose to become advanced practice nurses who often are considered primary health care practitioners and work independently or in collaboration with physicians. Upon completing an associate’s degree, Wallace State nursing graduates are prepared to fulfill an entry-level position as a staff nurse in a variety of settings. They may also take advantage of an articulation agreement that leads to a bachelor’s or master’s degree through the University of Alabama. Often, they can find a staff nurse position and then take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits while working on an advanced degree. In 2006 the licensure rate for Wallace State nursing graduates was better than 94%.
Job opportunities for RNs in all specialties are expected to be excellent. Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow through 2014, and, because the field is very large, many new jobs will result. In fact, registered nurses are projected to create the second largest number of new jobs among all occupations. Thousands of job openings also will result from the need to replace experienced nurses who leave the occupation, especially as the median age of the registered nurse population continues to rise.
Mean annual earnings of registered nurses were $66,530 in May 2004. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The Wallace State Nursing Program is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission). 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia, 30326 (404) 975-5000, www.nlnac.org.
Licensed Practical Nursing
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) care for the sick, injured, convalescent, and disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses.
Most LPNs provide basic care, such as taking vital signs, administering medication and performing treatments. LPNs collaborate with RNs to monitor patients and report adverse reactions to medications or treatments. They collect samples for testing, perform routine laboratory tests, feed patients, and record food and fluid intake and output. To help keep patients comfortable,LPNs assist with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene. In states where the law allows, they may administer prescribed medicines or start intravenous fluids. Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides.
In addition to providing routine bedside care, LPNs in extended nursing care facilities help to evaluate residents’ needs, develop care plans, and supervise the care provided by nursing aides. In doctors’ offices and clinics, they also may make appointments, keep records, and perform other clerical duties. LPNs who work in private homes may prepare meals and teach family members simple nursing tasks.
The Wallace State Practical Nursing program combines classroom and clinical experience to teach students to identify scientific principles which are the basis for safe, effective nursing care and apply those principles to meet individual client needs. Graduates find employment in acute care facilities, physician’s offices, and industry.
Employment of LPNs is expected to grow through 2012 in response to the long-term care needs of an increasing elderly population and the general growth of healthcare. Physicians’ offices and outpatient care centers such as ambulatory surgical and emergency medical centers will provide excellent job opportunities.
Median annual earnings of licensed practical nurses were $33,970 in May 2004, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $46,270. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The Wallace State Practical Nursing Program is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing and has been approved for candidacy status by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission). 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia, 30326 (404) 975-5000, www.nlnac.org.
Deborah Hoover, RN, MSN, CRNP, Program Director