How to Select a Nursing College near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Searching for the best nursing college near Lake Havasu City AZ may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Lake Havasu City AZ medical environments, namely 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 as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 desire 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 obtaining 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, she or he 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 make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like 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 work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Lake Havasu City AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease 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 and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Lake Havasu City AZ, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Lake Havasu City 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
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Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Lake Havasu City AZ
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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