How to Select an Accredited RN Program near Page Arizona
Choosing the right nursing college near Page AZ may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Page AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Page AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Page AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an integral component of a Page AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Page AZ or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Page AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards 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 agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Page 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Page AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Page AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Arizona RN Program
Picking the right nursing school is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Page Arizona.