How to Choose the Right RN Degree Program near Buckeye AZ
Locating the best nursing college near Buckeye AZ may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Buckeye AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment 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. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and normally 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Buckeye Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona 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 want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Buckeye AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable component of a Buckeye AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human side of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Buckeye AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary 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 along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Buckeye AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 Buckeye AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Buckeye AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Buckeye AZ RN Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Buckeye AZ.