How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Cochise Arizona
Finding the best nursing school near Cochise AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Cochise AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cochise AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at 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 desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two 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.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Cochise AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Cochise AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Cochise AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet 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 each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cochise 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 schools you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Cochise AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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. Find out if the schools have associations with Cochise AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many Cochise AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cochise AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cochise Arizona area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cochise County, Arizona
In 1528 Spanish Explorers: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Estevanico, and Fray Marcos de Niza survived a shipwreck off Texas coast. Captured by Native Americans they spent 8 years finding way back to Mexico City, via the San Pedro Valley. Their journals, maps, and stories lead to the Cibola, seven cities of gold myth. The Expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1539 using it as his route north through what they called the Guachuca Mountains of Pima (Tohono O'odham) lands and later part of the mission routes north, but was actually occupied by the Sobaipuri descendants of the Hohokam. They found a large Pueblo (described as a small city) between Benson and Whetstone, and several smaller satellite villages and smaller pueblos including ones on Fort Huachuca, Huachuca City and North Eastern Fry. About 1657 Father Kino visited the Sobaipuris just before the Apache forced most from the valley, as they were struggling to survive due to increasing Chiricahua Apache attacks as they moved into the area of Texas Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains. In 1776 The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrante was founded on the West bank of the San Pedro River, to protect the natives as well as the Spanish settlers who supplied the mission stations, but it was chronically short on provisions from raids, and lack of personnel to adequately patrol the eastern route due to wars with France and England, so the main route north shifted west to the Santa Cruz valley, farther from the Chiricahua Apache's ranges who almost exclusively controlled the area by 1821.
Cochise County was created on February 1, 1881, out of the eastern portion of Pima County. It took its name from the legendary Chiricahua Apache war chief Cochise. The county seat was Tombstone until 1929 when it moved to Bisbee. Notable men who once held the position of County Sheriff were Johnny Behan, who served as the first sheriff of the new county, and who was one of the main characters during the events leading to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Later, in 1886, Texas John Slaughter became sheriff. Lawman Jeff Milton and lawman/outlaw Burt Alvord both served as deputies under Slaughter.
A syndicated television series which aired from 1956 to 1958, Sheriff of Cochise starring John Bromfield, was filmed in Bisbee. The Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow and subsequent television show of the same name starring John Lupton, which also aired from 1956 to 1958, took place (but was not filmed) in Cochise County.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Cochise AZ
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Cochise AZ.
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