How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Littlefield Arizona
Choosing the best nursing school in Littlefield AZ may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system in Littlefield AZ. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Littlefield AZ with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Littlefield AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Littlefield AZ healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Littlefield AZ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Littlefield AZ board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 Littlefield AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Littlefield 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Littlefield AZ healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Littlefield AZ and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Littlefield AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Littlefield 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Littlefield AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Littlefield AZ clinical environment. Almost all Arizona nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program in Littlefield AZ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Littlefield AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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