How to Select the Right Nursing Training Program Online in Chandler Arizona
Finding the best nursing school near Chandler AZ may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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RN Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Chandler AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Chandler 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 job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain 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 certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Chandler AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask RN Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Chandler AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Chandler AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Chandler 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Chandler AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Chandler Nursing Program
Picking the ideal nursing college is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Chandler Arizona.