How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Paradise Valley Arizona
Finding the best nursing college near Paradise Valley AZ may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Paradise Valley AZ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Paradise Valley AZ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Paradise Valley AZ. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief 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 prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Paradise Valley AZ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Paradise Valley AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 course of study 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Paradise Valley AZ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make sure that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Arizona. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Paradise Valley AZ home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 obligations 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.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Paradise Valley AZ as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Paradise Valley AZ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Paradise Valley AZ area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Paradise Valley 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Paradise Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Paradise Valley 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 as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Paradise Valley AZ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Paradise Valley AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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