How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Kingman Arizona
Choosing the best nursing school near Kingman AZ may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Kingman AZ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Kingman AZ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Kingman AZ. And in order 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arizona 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 instance to become a nurse practitioner in Kingman AZ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kingman AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kingman AZ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Arizona to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Arizona. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Kingman AZ home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Kingman AZ and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Kingman AZ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Kingman AZ area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies 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 assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Kingman 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 colleges 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 good reputation within the Kingman AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Kingman AZ area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Kingman AZ
Selecting the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Kingman AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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