How to Pick a Nursing School near Thatcher Arizona
Locating the best nursing program near Thatcher AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing college. There are a number of essential additional things to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Thatcher AZ medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Thatcher AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some Thatcher AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Thatcher AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Thatcher AZ, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, 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 Thatcher 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 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 favorable reputation within the Thatcher AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Thatcher AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Thatcher AZ?
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,022 people, 1,281 households, and 927 families residing in the town. The population density was 919.4 people per square mile (355.4/km²). There were 1,427 housing units at an average density of 326.2 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.73% White, 0.77% Black or African American, 1.84% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.87% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. 19.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,281 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 22.8% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.
Select the Right RN School near Thatcher AZ
Choosing the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Thatcher AZ.
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