How to Find an Accredited Nursing School near Chandler AZ
Locating the best nursing school near Chandler AZ may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Chandler AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Chandler Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Chandler AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an essential part of a Chandler AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Chandler AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Chandler 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Chandler AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Chandler AZ Nursing School
Deciding on the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 Chandler AZ.