How to Pick a Nursing Program near Youngtown Arizona
Finding the right nursing program near Youngtown AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Youngtown AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Youngtown AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically 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, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Youngtown AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Youngtown AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. 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 compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Youngtown AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Youngtown 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 schools you are considering 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Youngtown AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Youngtown AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Youngtown AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Youngtown AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Youngtown 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.
Youngtown is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 6,156. Youngtown is the oldest retirement community in the United States.
In 1954, two developers bought 320 acres (1.3 km2) of farmland and built the United States' first planned community dedicated exclusively to retirees. Designed by Ben Schleifer, the community was ironically named Youngtown. In 1996, the town, citing its age restrictions, denied extending the stay of a 16-year-old child to live in the community. In response, Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods investigated and determined that the age ordinance was unenforceable. In response, Youngtown repealed the age restrictions in 1999.
Youngtown is located at 33°35′41″N 112°17′56″W / 33.59472°N 112.29889°W / 33.59472; -112.29889 (33.594603, −112.298776), on the east bank of the Agua Fria River, just south of US 60. It is bordered on the west by El Mirage and on the east by the much larger retirement community of Sun City.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Youngtown AZ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Youngtown AZ.
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