How to Select the Best RN School near Goodyear Arizona
Selecting the best nursing school near Goodyear 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 understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
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RN Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Goodyear AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Goodyear AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Goodyear AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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 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.
Questions to Ask RN Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Goodyear AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. 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 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Goodyear Nursing College
Selecting the ideal nursing school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Goodyear Arizona.