How to Pick a Nursing College in Lake Montezuma Arizona
Selecting the best nursing school in Lake Montezuma AZ may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order 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. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Lake Montezuma AZ. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Lake Montezuma AZ with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Lake Montezuma AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Lake Montezuma AZ healthcare 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) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Lake Montezuma 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 might wish 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Lake Montezuma AZ board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 Lake Montezuma 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Lake Montezuma AZ to make sure that the training course 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Lake Montezuma AZ healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Lake Montezuma AZ and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Lake Montezuma AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Lake Montezuma 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 colleges you are looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Lake Montezuma AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Lake Montezuma AZ clinical environment. Almost all Arizona nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School in Lake Montezuma AZ
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lake Montezuma AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address 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 abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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