How to Select a Nursing School near Prescott Arizona
Finding the right nursing school near Prescott AZ may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure 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 receive the proper 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 thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Prescott AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Prescott AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at 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 desire 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as 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 requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Prescott AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Prescott AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, 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 so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Prescott AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Prescott 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prescott AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Prescott AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Prescott AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Prescott 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.
Prescott (/ˈprɛskət/ PRES-kət; Yavapai: ʼWi:kwatha Ksikʼita) is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 39,843. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.
The towns of Prescott Valley, 7 miles (11 km) east; Chino Valley, 16 miles (26 km) north; Dewey-Humboldt, 13 miles (21 km) east, and Prescott, together comprise what is locally known as the "Quad-City" area. This also sometimes refers to central Yavapai County in general, which would include the towns of: Mayer, Paulden, Wilhoit, and Williamson Valley. Combined with these smaller communities the area had a population of 103,260 as of 2007[update]. Prescott is the center of the Prescott Metropolitan Area, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as all of Yavapai County.
Arizona Territorial Governor John Noble Goodwin selected the original site of Prescott following his first tour of the new territory. Goodwin replaced Governor John A. Gurley, appointed by Abraham Lincoln, but died before taking office. Downtown streets in Prescott are named in honor of each of them. Goodwin selected a site 20 miles (32 km) south of the temporary capital on the east side of Granite Creek near a number of mining camps. The territorial capital was later moved to the new site along with Fort Whipple, with the new town named in honor of historian William H. Prescott during a public meeting on May 30, 1864. Robert W. Groom surveyed the new community, and an initial auction sold 73 lots on June 4, 1864. By July 4, 1864, a total of 232 lots had been sold within the new community. Prescott was officially incorporated in 1881.
Select the Right Nursing College near Prescott AZ
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Prescott AZ.
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