How to Choose a Nursing School in Gila Bend Arizona
Finding the right nursing college near Gila Bend AZ may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Gila Bend AZ medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Gila Bend AZ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Gila Bend AZ. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arizona 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Gila Bend AZ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Gila Bend AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Arizona 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 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gila Bend AZ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Arizona to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Arizona. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Gila Bend AZ home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease 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 relative to Gila Bend AZ along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Gila Bend AZ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Gila Bend AZ area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Gila Bend 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 schools you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Gila Bend AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Gila Bend AZ area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Gila Bend AZ
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Gila Bend AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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