How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Program near Flowing Wells Arizona
Locating the right nursing program near Flowing Wells AZ may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to investigate before you determine 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 medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment 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. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Flowing Wells AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 instruction can be acquired at Flowing Wells 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the education 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Flowing Wells AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Flowing Wells AZ or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Flowing Wells AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Flowing Wells 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 programs 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 Flowing Wells AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Best Flowing Wells Nursing Program
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Flowing Wells AZ.