How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Lakeside Arizona
Finding the best nursing college in Lakeside AZ may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Lakeside AZ. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Lakeside AZ with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Lakeside AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Lakeside AZ medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Lakeside AZ 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 may want 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Lakeside AZ board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Lakeside AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Lakeside AZ to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Lakeside AZ healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Lakeside AZ and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Lakeside AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Lakeside 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Lakeside AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Lakeside AZ clinical setting. Virtually all Arizona nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course in Lakeside AZ
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lakeside AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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