How to Select an Accredited Nursing Program near Camp Verde Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near Camp Verde AZ may feel like a challenging project, 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 appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Camp Verde AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Camp Verde AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 previous 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 Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after obtaining 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Camp Verde AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an essential component of a Camp Verde AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Camp Verde AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Camp Verde AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Camp Verde 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 schools 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Camp Verde AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Camp Verde AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Arizona RN School
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Camp Verde Arizona.