How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Palo Verde Arizona
Selecting the right nursing program near Palo Verde AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing college. There are several important additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Palo Verde AZ medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Palo Verde AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Various other requirements for licensing change 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 receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many Palo Verde AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on 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 choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Palo Verde AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Palo Verde AZ, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Palo Verde 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Palo Verde AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Palo Verde AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Palo Verde AZ?
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
The Palo Verde Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Tonopah, Arizona, in western Arizona. It is located about 45 miles (72 km) due west of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and it is located near the Gila River, which is dry save for the rainy season in late summer.
The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation. Its average electric power production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), and this power serves about four million people. The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates and owns 29.1% of the plant. Its other major owners include the Salt River Project (17.5%), the El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), the Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).
The Palo Verde Generating Station is located in the Arizona desert, and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large body of water. The power plant evaporates the water from the treated sewage from several nearby cities and towns to provide the cooling of the steam that it produces.
Select the Right RN School near Palo Verde AZ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Palo Verde AZ.
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