How to Pick the Right Nursing Training near Bisbee Arizona
Choosing the right nursing school near Bisbee AZ may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Bisbee AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bisbee AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 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 earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Bisbee AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Bisbee AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Bisbee AZ or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Bisbee AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bisbee AZ 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 Bisbee AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Bisbee AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Bisbee Nursing School
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school 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 develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bisbee AZ.