How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Miami Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Miami AZ may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Miami AZ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Miami AZ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Miami AZ. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona 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 may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Miami AZ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Miami AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain 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, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable 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 warrants that the syllabus properly 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Miami AZ area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Arizona. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Miami AZ home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Miami AZ and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Miami AZ.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Miami AZ area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Miami 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Miami AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Miami AZ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Miami AZ
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Miami AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Arizona