How to Choose a Nursing College in Paradise Valley Arizona
Locating the best nursing school in Paradise Valley AZ may feel like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Paradise Valley AZ. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Paradise Valley 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Paradise Valley AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Paradise Valley AZ medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Paradise Valley AZ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 two year program after acquiring 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Paradise Valley AZ board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Paradise Valley AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 Paradise Valley AZ to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Paradise Valley AZ healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments 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.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Paradise Valley AZ and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as 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 ultimate selection, 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Paradise Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Paradise Valley 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 programs 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 unhappy 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 Paradise Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Paradise Valley AZ clinical setting. Almost all Arizona nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree in Paradise Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick 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 produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Paradise Valley AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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