How to Select a Nursing Program near Palo Verde Arizona
Choosing the right nursing program near Palo Verde AZ may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Palo Verde AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. 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 two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Palo Verde AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn 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, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Palo Verde AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Palo Verde AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Palo Verde AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to 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 school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Palo Verde AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Palo Verde AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Palo Verde AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Palo Verde AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Palo Verde AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Palo Verde 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.
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
The Palo Verde Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Tonopah, Arizona, in western Arizona. It is located about 45 miles (72 km) due west of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and it is located near the Gila River, which is dry save for the rainy season in late summer.
The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation. Its average electric power production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), and this power serves about four million people. The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates and owns 29.1% of the plant. Its other major owners include the Salt River Project (17.5%), the El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), the Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).
The Palo Verde Generating Station is located in the Arizona desert, and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large body of water. The power plant evaporates the water from the treated sewage from several nearby cities and towns to provide the cooling of the steam that it produces.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Palo Verde AZ
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Palo Verde AZ.
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