How to Select an Accredited RN School near Prescott Valley AZ
Searching for the best nursing school near Prescott Valley AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Prescott Valley Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some Prescott Valley AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household 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 busy schedule.
Why Become a Nurse?Nurses are an important part of a Prescott Valley AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver primary patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Prescott Valley AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Prescott Valley 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Prescott Valley AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Prescott Valley AZ Nursing Program
Picking the right nursing college is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Prescott Valley AZ.