How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Lakeside Arizona
Locating the right nursing school near Lakeside AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Lakeside AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. 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, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lakeside AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at 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 might 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Lakeside AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Lakeside AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Lakeside AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Lakeside AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Lakeside AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Lakeside AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many Lakeside AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lakeside AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lakeside Arizona area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pinetop–Lakeside is a small town in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the town is 4,282. It was founded in 1984 when the neighboring towns of Pinetop and Lakeside merged.
Pinetop–Lakeside is a popular summer resort and second-home area for Arizona desert residents. In 2002, a large forest fire, the Rodeo-Chediski fire, threatened the town and forced an evacuation. The town is near extensive forests, and in normal times is a popular recreational area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29 km2), of which, 11.3 square miles (29 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.71%) is water.
Select the Right Nursing College near Lakeside AZ
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select 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 Lakeside AZ.
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