How to Select a Nursing Program near Gila Bend Arizona
Selecting the best nursing program near Gila Bend AZ may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Gila Bend AZ hospitals, private 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 particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Gila Bend AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 may desire 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Gila Bend AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the 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 certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Gila Bend AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Gila Bend AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some 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 an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Gila Bend 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Gila Bend AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Gila Bend AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Gila Bend AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue 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 Gila Bend AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Gila Bend 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.
Gila Bend, Arizona
Gila Bend (/ˌhiːlə ˈbɛnd/; O'odham: Hila Wi:n), founded in 1872, is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The town is named for an approximately 90-degree bend in the Gila River, which is near but not precisely at the community's current location. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,922.
The town of Gila Bend is situated near an ancient Hohokam village. Father Eusebio Francisco Kino was the first European to visit in 1699 on his first journey of exploration to the Colorado River. The Hohokam site along fertile banks of the Gila River had been abandoned and other tribes, lived in the vicinity. 132 Pima people lived in a rancheria called Oyadaibuc or as Kino named it San Felipe y Santiago del Oyadaibuc, near the modern town, and other Pima lived in three rancherias up river to the north mixed with the Cocomaricopa or Opa. During one of his three visits to Gila Bend, Kino counted 960 Opas living in their own rancherias down river to the west of Oyadaibuc as far as a few miles beyond Agua Caliente.:26–27 The Opa and Pima used the flood waters of the river to irrigate their crops. Oyadaibuc was also visited by Juan Bautista de Anza, commander of the Presidio at Tubac and founder of the city of San Francisco, and by Father Francisco Tomas Garces in 1774. As late as the 1820s Maricopa were living at Gila Bend. After the 1820s, the Maricopa, under relentless pressure from the Yuma and other tribes, and population loss from epidemics, had been compelled to leave the Gila Bend and join the Pima in the Middle Gila region. By the time of the California Gold Rush the Maricopa villages, were all located east of the Sierra Estrella, on the Gila River, below the Pima Villages.:111–112
During the Mexican–American War, the expeditions of Kearny (1846), Cooke (1847) and Graham (1847) passed through the area but found no village. Only Graham found corn stubble on the riverside with which to graze his cattle.:21–22 From 1849 what became the Southern Emigrant Trail passed through the area which by 1854 had acquired the name Tezotal or Tesotal, from name of the scientific name of the desert ironwood tree, (Olneya tesota) given it in the botanical report of the Boundary Survey along the Gila River led by William H. Emory.:117,132
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Gila Bend AZ
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Gila Bend AZ.
More Awesome Locations in Arizona