How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Course near Flowing Wells Arizona
Searching for the right nursing school near Flowing Wells AZ may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly 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 in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Flowing Wells 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 position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 attests that the course of study 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Flowing Wells AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Courses
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Flowing Wells AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Flowing Wells AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Flowing Wells 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Flowing Wells 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Flowing Wells AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Flowing Wells AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Flowing Wells Nursing Degree Program
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Flowing Wells AZ.