How to Pick the Best RN Course near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Finding the best nursing school near Lake Havasu City AZ may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, 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 study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
It Takes Just a Minute to Start Your Nursing Career in Arizona!
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually 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 practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask RN Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Lake Havasu City AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. 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 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Lake Havasu City AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Lake Havasu City 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Lake Havasu City Nursing Program
Enrolling in the right nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, 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 develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lake Havasu City Arizona.