How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Clifton Arizona
Finding the right nursing college near Clifton AZ may feel like a challenging undertaking, 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 obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing college. There are a number of key additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Clifton AZ medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Clifton AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Clifton AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Clifton AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Clifton AZ, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Clifton AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Clifton AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Clifton AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Clifton AZ?
Clifton is a town in and the county seat of Greenlee County, Arizona, United States, along the San Francisco River. The population of the town was 3,311 at the 2010 census, with a 2017 population estimate of 4,870 by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. It was a site of the Arizona copper mine strike of 1983.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.4 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (37.8 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.46%, is water. Clifton has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh) that closely borders on both the hot desert climate and the cool semi-arid climate. There is a large degree of diurnal temperature variation. Summers are very hot and sometimes humid, with most rainfall coming from the monsoon between July and October. The wettest year was 2004 with 28.49 inches (723.6 mm) including 6.97 inches (177.0 mm) in August, whilst the driest year with a full record was 1924 with only 4.85 inches (123.2 mm) including a mere 1.98 inches (50.3 mm) between July and October. Winters are mild (though with very cold nights) and dry, with snow only recorded in fourteen years since 1892.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,596 people, 919 households, and 685 families residing in the town. The population density was 174.8 people per square mile (67.5/km²). There were 1,087 housing units at an average density of 73.2 per square mile (28.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.10% White, 0.96% Black or African American, 2.27% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 26.73% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. 55.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right RN School near Clifton AZ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Clifton AZ.
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