How to Select the Best Nursing Training near Goodyear Arizona
Finding the right nursing program near Goodyear AZ may seem like a complex project, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Goodyear AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And 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 two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Goodyear AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps 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 afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Goodyear AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many Goodyear AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Goodyear AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Goodyear AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Goodyear 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Best Goodyear Nursing School
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in 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 health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Goodyear AZ.