How to Choose the Right Nursing Program Online in Bullhead City Arizona
Finding the right nursing program near Bullhead City AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea 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 obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain 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 usually a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced 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 able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 change from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Bullhead City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask RN Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Bullhead City AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Bullhead City AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bullhead City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Bullhead City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Bullhead City Nursing College
Choosing the right nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bullhead City Arizona.