How to Enroll In the Best RN Course near Peoria AZ
Locating the right nursing program near Peoria AZ may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Peoria AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties 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
- Maintaining 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Peoria Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain 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 rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Peoria AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Peoria AZ or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely 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 before 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Peoria 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 schools 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Peoria AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Peoria AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Peoria AZ Nursing School
Selecting the right nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school 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 create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Peoria AZ.