How to Select the Best Nursing College near Holbrook Arizona
Selecting the best nursing college near Holbrook AZ may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive 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 basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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.
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Holbrook AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 2 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.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Holbrook AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Holbrook AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Holbrook AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Holbrook AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Holbrook AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Holbrook AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Holbrook Nursing College
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Holbrook AZ.