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Nursing School Degree Programs Bullhead City Arizona

How to Enroll In the Best Nursing School near Bullhead City AZ

Bullhead City AZ RN with Physician and PatientSearching for the best nursing school near Bullhead City AZ may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don't know 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 receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Bullhead City AZ Nurse taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Bullhead City Arizona Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bullhead City Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 advance 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has earned 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Programs

Bullhead City AZ student attending nursing college onlineEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some Bullhead City AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 work 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 hectic schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Bullhead City AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price 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 final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bullhead City 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bullhead City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Bullhead City AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Bullhead City AZ Nursing Program

Bullhead City Arizona nurse holding medical chartPicking the right nursing college is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community.  By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 Bullhead City AZ.