How to Select a Nursing College near Clarkdale Arizona
Searching for the best nursing program near Clarkdale AZ may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are many crucial additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Clarkdale AZ medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Clarkdale AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Clarkdale AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 obligations have left you with very little 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.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Clarkdale AZ area and 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 workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Clarkdale AZ, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies 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 assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Clarkdale 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Clarkdale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Clarkdale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Clarkdale AZ?
Clarkdale (Yavapai: Saupkasuiva) is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The Verde River flows through the town as does Bitter Creek, an intermittent tributary of the river. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,097.
Clarkdale was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his copper mine in nearby Jerome. Clarkdale was one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services, and was an early example of a planned community. The Clark Mansion, a local landmark, was built in the late 1920s by William Clark III, Clark's grandson and heir to the United Verde Copper Company. The structure, east of town across the Verde River near Pecks Lake, was destroyed in 2010 by a fire of "suspicious" origin.
The town center and business district were built in Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both still in use. The Clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire original town site is also on the National Register as the Clarkdale Historic District.
Choose the Right RN Course near Clarkdale AZ
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 Clarkdale AZ.
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