How to Choose an Accredited RN Course near Chino Valley Arizona
Finding the right nursing college near Chino Valley AZ may seem like a formidable project, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Chino Valley AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Chino Valley AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some Chino Valley AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps 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 Chino Valley AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human side of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Chino Valley AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Chino Valley 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 required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Chino Valley 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 considering 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Chino Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Chino Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Arizona RN School
Selecting the right nursing school is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chino Valley Arizona.