How to Select the Right RN Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Prescott Valley AZ may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
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RN Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Prescott Valley AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 may desire 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Prescott Valley AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Prescott Valley AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to begin 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 essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Prescott Valley AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check 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. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Prescott Valley 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 complete 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 good reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Prescott Valley Nursing College
Choosing the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential 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 produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Prescott Valley Arizona.