How to Select the Best Nursing Course near Kingman Arizona
Locating the right nursing school near Kingman AZ may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Kingman AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kingman AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain 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, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Kingman AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed 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 also those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Kingman AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Kingman AZ or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points 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 see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Kingman AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Kingman 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Kingman AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Kingman AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Kingman Nursing Degree Program
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Kingman AZ.