How to Select the Right Nursing Degree Program near Guadalupe Arizona
Choosing the best nursing school near Guadalupe AZ may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Guadalupe AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Guadalupe AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance 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 2 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction 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 program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 attests that the core curriculum adequately 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Guadalupe AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important 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 training course is state approved. 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.
Online Nursing Courses
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as 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 virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Guadalupe AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Guadalupe AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. 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 field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Guadalupe AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, 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 Guadalupe 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Guadalupe AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Guadalupe AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Guadalupe Nursing College
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Guadalupe AZ.