How to Find the Best Nursing Training near Douglas Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Douglas AZ may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Douglas AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Douglas AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 may 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 warrants that the core curriculum effectively 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Douglas AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Douglas AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Douglas AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Douglas AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Douglas AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 Douglas AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Douglas AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Best Douglas Nursing School
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Douglas AZ.