How to Choose a Nursing Program in Tombstone Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near Tombstone AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to look into before you determine 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 medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Tombstone AZ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Tombstone 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 Tombstone AZ. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain 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 typically a 2 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 might 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Tombstone AZ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Tombstone AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Tombstone AZ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand 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 almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Tombstone AZ home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Tombstone AZ and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary 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 evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Tombstone 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Tombstone AZ area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Tombstone AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 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 favorable reputation within the Tombstone AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Tombstone AZ area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Tombstone AZ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Tombstone AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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