How to Choose the Best RN Training Program near Goodyear Arizona
Locating the best nursing college near Goodyear AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over what the role 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 primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Goodyear AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support 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. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Goodyear AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps 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 achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Colleges
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Goodyear AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Goodyear AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Goodyear AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each 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 determine 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 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 finish 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Goodyear Nursing Degree Program
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Goodyear Arizona.