How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Course near Chino Valley Arizona
Searching for the right nursing college near Chino Valley AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Chino Valley AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Chino Valley 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 healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) 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 basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Chino Valley AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 sure 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Chino Valley AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Chino Valley AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Chino Valley AZ 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Chino Valley 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 colleges 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 displeased 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 Chino Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Chino Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Best Chino Valley Nursing Degree Program
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Chino Valley AZ.