How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Grand Canyon Arizona
Locating the best nursing program near Grand Canyon AZ may feel like a difficult project, especially 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 must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Grand Canyon AZ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Grand Canyon AZ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Grand Canyon AZ. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Grand Canyon AZ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Grand Canyon AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Grand Canyon AZ area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Arizona to make certain 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 might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Arizona. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Grand Canyon AZ home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Grand Canyon AZ along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Grand Canyon AZ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Grand Canyon AZ area school you are enrolled in not only provides 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. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Grand Canyon 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Grand Canyon AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Grand Canyon AZ area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Grand Canyon AZ
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Grand Canyon AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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