How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Holbrook Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Holbrook AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially 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 need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Holbrook AZ medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Holbrook 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 Holbrook AZ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief 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 prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn 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 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 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Holbrook AZ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Holbrook AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Holbrook AZ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Arizona. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Holbrook AZ home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Holbrook AZ along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Holbrook 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Holbrook AZ area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Holbrook 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 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 Holbrook AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Holbrook AZ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Holbrook AZ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Holbrook AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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