How to Select an Accredited RN Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Selecting the best nursing school near Bullhead City AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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 Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order 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 as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Bullhead City AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 typically 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.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Bullhead City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an important part of a Bullhead City AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Bullhead City AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bullhead City AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bullhead City 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Bullhead City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Bullhead City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Arizona RN Program
Selecting the right nursing college is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bullhead City Arizona.