How to Choose a Nursing College near Winslow Arizona
Finding the best nursing school near Winslow AZ may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Winslow AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 available 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winslow AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Winslow AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Winslow AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Winslow AZ or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Winslow AZ 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) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Winslow AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Winslow AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Winslow AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Winslow AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winslow Arizona area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Winslow (Navajo: Béésh Sinil) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 9,655. It is located approximately 75 miles (121 km) SE of Flagstaff, 320 miles (510 km) W of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 329 miles (529 km) SE of Las Vegas.
Winslow was named for either Edward F. Winslow, president of St. Louis and San Francisco Rail Road, which owned one half of the old Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, or Tom Winslow, a prospector who lived in the area.
The last Harvey House (La Posada Hotel) opened in 1930. It was designed by Mary Colter. The hotel closed in 1957 and was used by the Santa Fe Railway for offices. The railroad abandoned La Posada in 1994 and announced plans to tear it down. It was bought and restored by Allan Affeldt and it currently serves as a hotel.
Select the Right Nursing School near Winslow AZ
Choosing the right nursing college is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Winslow AZ.
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