How to Select the Right Nursing Training Program near Avondale Arizona
Selecting the best nursing school near Avondale AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Avondale AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally 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.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Avondale AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arizona 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally 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.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Colleges
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Avondale AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask RN Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Avondale AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Avondale AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Avondale 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Avondale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Avondale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Avondale Nursing College
Selecting the right nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Avondale Arizona.