How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Chandler Arizona
Locating the best nursing school near Chandler AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Chandler AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Chandler AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job 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 focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Chandler AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 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 every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Chandler AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Chandler 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Chandler 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Chandler AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Chandler AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Chandler AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Chandler 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.
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of July 2015, the population was 260,828 according to the United States Census Bureau, According to the city's official website, Chandler's Transportation & Development Department estimated the population, as of May 2016, to be 247,328. It also has satellite locations for many technology companies, including Intel and Orbital ATK.
In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established. The townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.
Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (a second San Marcos hotel was canceled due to the Depression however), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Chandler AZ
Selecting the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chandler AZ.
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