How to Enroll In an Accredited RN Training Program near New River Arizona
Selecting the best nursing college near New River AZ may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely New River AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees
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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the New River AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain 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 completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many New River AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited 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 Become a Nurse?Nurses are an important component of a New River 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 healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive 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, including home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near New River AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many New River AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specific 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 provides 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. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 New River AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the New River AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with New River AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Arizona RN Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in New River Arizona.