How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Sun City West Arizona
Searching for the best nursing program in Sun City West AZ may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you 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 study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system in Sun City West AZ. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Sun City West AZ with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Sun City West AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Sun City West AZ medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Sun City West AZ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Sun City West AZ board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Sun City West AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to 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 duration of the training can take anywhere from one 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Sun City West AZ to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Sun City West AZ healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Sun City West AZ and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools in Sun City West 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. 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 nearby Sun City West 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 finish 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 superb reputation within the Sun City West AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Sun City West AZ clinical environment. 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 a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Sun City West AZ
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 nurse in Sun City West AZ.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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