How to Pick the Best Nursing College near Eloy Arizona
Searching for the best nursing school near Eloy AZ may feel like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Eloy AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Eloy AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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 change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Eloy AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the program 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many Eloy AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Eloy AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. 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 Eloy AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specified 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Eloy 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Eloy AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Eloy AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Eloy Nursing Program
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Eloy AZ.