How to Find the Right Nursing School in Gilbert Arizona
Selecting the right nursing program near Gilbert AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Gilbert AZ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some 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
- Taking care of 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Gilbert AZ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Gilbert 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Gilbert AZ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Gilbert AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gilbert AZ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Arizona. Certain 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 carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Gilbert AZ home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Gilbert AZ as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Gilbert AZ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Gilbert AZ area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. 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 nearby Gilbert 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Gilbert AZ area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Gilbert AZ
Picking the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Gilbert AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Arizona