How to Select the Best Nursing College near Doney Park Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Doney Park AZ may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea 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 to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional things to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Doney Park AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Doney Park AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further 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 scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Doney Park AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimal period of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Doney Park AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Doney Park AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Doney Park AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain 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 prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Doney Park 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 considering 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Doney Park AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Doney Park AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Doney Park Nursing School
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Doney Park AZ.