How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Chandler Arizona
Selecting the right nursing school near Chandler AZ may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Chandler AZ medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Chandler AZ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Chandler AZ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain 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 commonly a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Chandler AZ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Chandler AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Chandler AZ area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimal period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Arizona. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Chandler AZ home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 family responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Chandler AZ and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Chandler AZ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Chandler AZ area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet 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 all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Chandler 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Chandler AZ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Chandler AZ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Chandler AZ.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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