How to Select a Nursing School in Apache Junction Arizona
Locating the best nursing program in Apache Junction AZ may seem like a difficult 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 must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system in Apache Junction AZ. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid 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 as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Apache Junction AZ with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Apache Junction AZ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Apache Junction AZ healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Apache Junction AZ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Apache Junction AZ board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Apache Junction AZ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Apache Junction AZ to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Apache Junction AZ healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Apache Junction AZ and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools in Apache Junction AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Apache Junction AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete 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 good reputation within the Apache Junction AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Apache Junction AZ clinical environment. Essentially all Arizona nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program in Apache Junction AZ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Apache Junction AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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