How to Pick an Accredited RN Training Program near Yuma AZ
Selecting the best nursing school near Yuma AZ may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly 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 must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Yuma AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing 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 complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 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 available to aspiring students in the Yuma Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some Yuma AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?Nurses are an indispensable part of a Yuma AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Yuma AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps 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 all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Yuma AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 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 superb reputation within the Yuma AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Yuma AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Yuma AZ RN School
Picking the ideal nursing school is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Yuma AZ.