How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Training Program near Goodyear AZ
Searching for the right nursing program near Goodyear AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care 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, namely Goodyear AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a nurse. And in order 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 just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Goodyear Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Goodyear AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Goodyear AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Goodyear 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Goodyear AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Goodyear AZ RN Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 Goodyear AZ.