How to Choose the Best RN Course near Bullhead City Arizona
Selecting the right nursing college near Bullhead City AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
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RN Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Bullhead City AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support 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. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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.
There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on 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 Bullhead City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Various 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.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some Bullhead City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Bullhead City AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Bullhead City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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. Find out if the schools have associations with Bullhead City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Bullhead City Nursing Degree Program
Enrolling in the right nursing school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bullhead City Arizona.