How to Select the Right RN School near Peoria Arizona
Locating the best nursing school near Peoria AZ may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
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RN Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Peoria AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Offered
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 just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Peoria AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a two year program after attaining 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 earned 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 change from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many Peoria AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Peoria AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Peoria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Peoria 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 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 superb reputation within the Peoria AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Peoria AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Peoria Nursing Program
Selecting the right nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Peoria Arizona.