How to Find the Right Nursing College in Catalina Arizona
Finding the right nursing college in Catalina AZ may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system in Catalina AZ. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Catalina AZ with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Catalina AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Catalina AZ medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Catalina AZ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Catalina AZ board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Catalina AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately 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 earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training 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 receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Catalina AZ to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Catalina AZ healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary 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 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 pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Catalina 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 already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Catalina AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Catalina AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Catalina AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Catalina AZ clinical environment. Almost all Arizona nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course in Catalina AZ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Catalina AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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