How to Pick the Best RN Course near Avondale AZ
Choosing the best nursing college near Avondale AZ may feel like a complex project, particularly if you aren't sure 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 obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Avondale AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Avondale Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Avondale AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an integral component of a Avondale AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Avondale AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Avondale 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Avondale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Avondale AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Avondale AZ RN School
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Avondale AZ.