How to Select the Best RN Course near Gilbert Arizona
Locating the best nursing college near Gilbert AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Gilbert AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Gilbert AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 might desire 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 concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Further 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 Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training 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 performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Gilbert AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so 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 easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Gilbert AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Gilbert AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Gilbert AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Gilbert AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Gilbert AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Gilbert Nursing College
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Gilbert Arizona.