How to Select an Accredited Nursing Degree Program near Page Arizona
Searching for the best nursing college near Page AZ may feel like a difficult 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 appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Page AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Page AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 may wish to advance 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining 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 attained 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 don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many Page AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of 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 affordable. And many 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable part of a Page 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, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Page AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Page 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Page AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check 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 Best Arizona RN Program
Selecting the right nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Page Arizona.