How to Select an Accredited Nursing Program near Fountain Hills Arizona
Locating the right nursing college near Fountain Hills AZ may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 as little as two years, or advance to attain 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 Fountain Hills AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Fountain Hills AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an essential component of a Fountain Hills AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses provide direct patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Fountain Hills AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Fountain Hills 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fountain Hills 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Fountain Hills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Arizona RN Program
Deciding on the right nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fountain Hills Arizona.