How to Select the Best RN College near Bisbee Arizona
Searching for the best nursing program near Bisbee AZ may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Bisbee AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees
There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Bisbee AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical 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 Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Bisbee AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?Nurses are an integral component of a Bisbee AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Bisbee AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bisbee AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 organizations 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 call some Bisbee 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bisbee AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Bisbee AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Arizona RN School
Selecting the ideal nursing college is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bisbee Arizona.