How to Find the Right Nursing Training Program Online in Bullhead City Arizona
Locating the best nursing college near Bullhead City 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, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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 Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bullhead City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part 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 may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many Bullhead City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Bullhead City AZ or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Bullhead City 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. Certain 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 enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bullhead City 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Bullhead City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Bullhead City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Bullhead City Nursing School
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bullhead City Arizona.