How to Choose the Best Nursing Course near Anthem Arizona
Choosing the best nursing program near Anthem AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Anthem AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Anthem AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Anthem AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually 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 alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Anthem AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Anthem AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Anthem AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Anthem AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Anthem AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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 too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Anthem AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Anthem Nursing College
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Anthem AZ.