How to Choose the Right Nursing Training Program Online in Goodyear Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Goodyear AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Goodyear AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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.
Nursing Degrees Offered
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 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Goodyear AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Colleges
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Goodyear AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Goodyear AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Goodyear 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with 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 each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Goodyear 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 considering 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Goodyear Nursing Program
Selecting the right nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. 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 excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Goodyear Arizona.