How to Pick a Nursing College in Cottonwood Arizona
Selecting the best nursing college in Cottonwood AZ may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Cottonwood AZ. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Cottonwood AZ with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Cottonwood 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 Cottonwood AZ healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain 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 four year program offered at Cottonwood AZ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Cottonwood AZ board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Cottonwood AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 period of training directed 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 additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Cottonwood AZ to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Cottonwood AZ healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Cottonwood AZ 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 already discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Cottonwood AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Cottonwood 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Cottonwood AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Cottonwood AZ clinical setting. Virtually all Arizona nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program in Cottonwood AZ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cottonwood AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Cities in Arizona You May be Interested In