How to Select the Right Nursing School near Casas Adobes Arizona
Selecting the right nursing college near Casas Adobes AZ may seem like a complex project, 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 must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
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 Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Casas Adobes AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Casas Adobes AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Casas Adobes AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within 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 workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Casas Adobes 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Casas Adobes 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Casas Adobes Nursing Degree Program
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select 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 pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casas Adobes AZ.