How to Pick the Best Nursing Course Online in Buckeye Arizona
Selecting the right nursing school near Buckeye AZ may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
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Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Buckeye AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Buckeye AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance 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 center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some Buckeye AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Buckeye AZ or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Buckeye AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Buckeye 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 colleges 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 good reputation within the Buckeye AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Buckeye AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Buckeye Nursing School
Picking the right nursing program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Buckeye Arizona.