How to Pick an Accredited RN Program near Bullhead City AZ
Choosing the best nursing college near Bullhead City AZ may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Bullhead City AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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
There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Bullhead City Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Bullhead City AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable component of a Bullhead City AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire 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 healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Bullhead City AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bullhead City 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bullhead City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Bullhead City AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Bullhead City AZ RN School
Choosing the ideal nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select a nursing college 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 choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bullhead City AZ.