How to Pick the Right RN College Online in Buckeye Arizona
Finding the best nursing college near Buckeye AZ may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Buckeye AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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 is more than one degree option to choose from 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six 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 normally a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced 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 allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Buckeye AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Buckeye AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Buckeye 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Buckeye AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Buckeye AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Buckeye Nursing Degree Program
Selecting the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 licensed registered nurse in Buckeye Arizona.