How to Select a Nursing School near Ash Fork Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near Ash Fork AZ may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to 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 potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Ash Fork AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Ash Fork AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Ash Fork AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Ash Fork AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Ash Fork AZ 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Ash Fork 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Ash Fork AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Ash Fork AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Ash Fork AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Ash Fork AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Ash Fork 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.
Ash Fork, Arizona
Geologic places of interest include the Cathedral Caves which are approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of town off Arizona Road, and Dante's Descent, a 275-foot (84 m) deep sinkhole also known as "Devil's Hole", which is approximately five miles northwest of Ash Fork, off of Crookton Road. Unfortunately, after closure by the state, Dante's Descent cannot legally be visited by the public. Pictorial and historic documentation of the natural attraction may be found at the Ash Fork Library.
Ash Fork lies in close proximity to Kaibab National Forest and Coconino National Forest, and international attractions such as the Grand Canyon are approximately an hour's drive away using major roads. Service roads allow swifter access to back areas of Grand Canyon National Park, but may not be open to public thoroughfare.
Approximately 15 miles (24 km) to the north of Ash Fork is Beale Road, which has the distinction of being the first federally funded highway. The internationally renowned U.S. Route 66 also runs directly through the town. Notably, the longest original, uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 still in existence (approximately 9.6 miles (15.4 km) long) can be found between Ash Fork, Arizona, and Seligman, Arizona, beginning just beyond Ash Fork at Crookton Road. The surrounding geographical area and settlements served as inspiration for the 2006 Pixar film Cars.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Ash Fork AZ
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 Ash Fork AZ.
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