How to Pick a Nursing School near Safford Arizona
Locating the best nursing program near Safford AZ may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Safford AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Safford AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain 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 offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Safford AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Safford AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Safford 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Safford 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Safford AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Safford AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Safford AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Safford AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Safford 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.
Safford (Western Apache: Ichʼįʼ Nahiłtį́į́) is a city in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 9,566. The city is the county seat of Graham County.
Safford is located at 32°49′24″N 109°42′53″W / 32.82333°N 109.71472°W / 32.82333; -109.71472 (32.823266, -109.714613). The Pinaleno Mountains sit prominently to the southwest of town. The Pinalenos have the greatest vertical relief of any mountain range in Arizona.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 8.6 square miles (22 km2) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Safford AZ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Safford AZ.
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