How to Pick the Right Nursing Program near Page Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Page AZ may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Page AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment 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. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 School Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short 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 normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Page AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an important component of a Page AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Page AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price 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 sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring 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 criteria for registered nurses differ 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 programs you are looking at 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Page AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Page AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Arizona RN School
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Page Arizona.