How to Choose a Nursing School near Wickenburg Arizona
Searching for the right nursing program near Wickenburg AZ may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Wickenburg AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A 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 descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wickenburg AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Wickenburg AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Wickenburg AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Wickenburg AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews 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 contact some Wickenburg 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Wickenburg 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 get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Wickenburg AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Wickenburg AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Wickenburg AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wickenburg 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.
The Wickenburg area with much of the Southwest became part of the United States by the 1848 treaty that ended the Mexican–American War. The first extensive survey was conducted by Gila Rangers who were pursuing hostile Indians who had raided the Butterfield Overland Mail route and attacked miners at Gila City.
In 1862, a gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma brought American prospectors, who searched for minerals throughout central Arizona. Many of the geographic landmarks now bear the names of these pioneers, including the Weaver Mountains, named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley, named after a settler.
Ranchers and farmers soon built homes along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River. Together with the miners, they founded the town of Wickenburg in 1863. Wickenburg was also the home of Jack Swilling, who prospected in the Salt River Valley in 1867. Swilling conducted irrigation efforts in that area and helped ground the city of Phoenix, Arizona.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Wickenburg AZ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wickenburg AZ.
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