How to Find the Right Nursing School in Aztec New Mexico
Finding the right nursing college near Aztec NM may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Aztec NM medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Aztec NM, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Aztec NM. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by New Mexico community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at New Mexico 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 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Aztec NM or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Aztec NM. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be New Mexico approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Aztec NM area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 instruction, 16 of which have to 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 requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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 New Mexico to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in New Mexico. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Aztec NM home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Mexico and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Aztec NM and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Aztec NM.
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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Aztec NM area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the New Mexico school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Aztec NM 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 colleges you are considering 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Aztec NM medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Aztec NM area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Aztec NM
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Aztec NM.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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