How to Enroll In the Best RN Training Program near Glendale Arizona
Locating the best nursing school near Glendale AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Glendale AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 generally 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 are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Glendale AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 desire 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Glendale AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask RN Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Glendale AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Glendale AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many 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 excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Glendale 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Glendale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Glendale Nursing Degree Program
Selecting the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Glendale Arizona.