How to Enroll In the Best Nursing School Online in Bullhead City Arizona
Locating the right nursing college near Bullhead City AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
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RN Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Bullhead City AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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 Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bullhead City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some Bullhead City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Bullhead City AZ or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Bullhead City AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bullhead City 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Bullhead City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Bullhead City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Bullhead City Nursing College
Enrolling in the ideal nursing college is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bullhead City Arizona.