How to Choose a Nursing Program in Chandler Arizona
Finding the right nursing college in Chandler AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly 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 receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Chandler AZ. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Chandler 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Chandler AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Chandler AZ medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Chandler AZ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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 Chandler AZ board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Chandler AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Chandler AZ to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Chandler AZ healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Chandler AZ and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Chandler AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 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 an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Chandler AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Chandler AZ clinical setting. Essentially all Arizona nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program in Chandler AZ
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 Chandler AZ.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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