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How to Find the Best Nursing Program near Holbrook Arizona

Holbrook Arizona nurse with physician and patientFinding the right nursing college near Holbrook AZ may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Holbrook Arizona RN taking care of a nursing home patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Holbrook AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing 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 complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Holbrook 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 medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 employment market.
  • Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Programs

Holbrook Arizona LVN holding door for man on crutchesThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Holbrook 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

Holbrook Arizona RN assisting surgeon in operating roomEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Holbrook AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Holbrook AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • 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 verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Holbrook AZ for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Holbrook AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Holbrook AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Holbrook AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Holbrook Nursing Colleges

Choose the Right Holbrook Nursing School

Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing RN in Holbrook AZ.



 

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