Every candidate should be aware that all nursing schools in Arizona conform to the standard practice set by the State Board of Nursing. These guidelines are intended to produce candidates that will become competent nurses during their academic and clinical practice. Based on the satisfactory compliance of the curriculum being observed in the State, licensing, registration, and certification is issued to all successful candidates.
The approval of educational programs for nursing assistants and other nursing professionals including the investigation of complaints in reference to licensing compliance is normally handled by the State Board of Nursing. It is likewise tasked with the determination and administration of disciplinary actions in case the Nurse Practice Act has been violated. The nursing schools in Arizona will always adhere to the protection of public health through the preservation of the safety and welfare of patients.
Before embarking on your nursing career in the State of Arizona, you should be aware of the following:
1. The Arizona nursing education
For potential candidates of nursing programs in the State of Arizona, it is important to be aware of the options that are open to you as you try to plot your career path. Basically, the three major nursing schools in Arizona will provide Bachelor’s and Graduate Degrees in Nursing for many candidates. Some technical and community colleges on the other hand provide Associate Degrees, diploma for Registered Nurses, and Licensed Practical Nursing certifications.
There are also a number of nursing institutions that deliver online programs that can benefit those who want to take up nursing but do not have the time to attend conventional educational institutions. There are also other educational institutions that work in conjunction with philanthropic organizations that can support scholarship programs for nursing candidates.
2. Nurse Practice Act test
Developed in 2006 based on the statutes from the Nursing Board of the State of Arizona, it is made up of 50 multiple-choice type questions that cover various areas of the Nurse Practice Act. This is considered as an essential to the establishment of a safe nursing practice in the State. The test is a possible teaching-learning tool that can help train nursing students on the practice of nursing in the State of Arizona.
Current nurses who are looking for additional opportunities to further their education can also use the test. Even practicing nurses that have deficits in certain areas may use the test to enhance their understanding of their profession and become more effective in their field. It is likewise possible to take the test even without reference to the Nurse Practice Act. The score along with the missed items and correct answers will be sent directly to the email address of the examinee for confidentiality.
Nursing candidates should be aware that the test remains the exclusive property of the Board and its application is designed exclusively for educational purposes. Any examinee therefore agrees to:
• Never disclose any part of the test, its contents, and answers, to prevent giving any future examinee a distinct advantage
• Refrain from reproducing the test, in part or as a whole, without an expressed written consent provided by the Board
• Score sheets can only be printed when the need to verify arises
3. Transition program for Licensed Practical Nursing candidates
The long-term prediction is that there will be a shortage in the field of nursing in the coming years. Current economic slowdown has created a stagnant job market for many new graduates that have resulted in a 9.1% unemployment rate. The promising future in this healthcare field has led many candidates to pursue fast track nursing careers like Licensed Practical Nursing for example. The reality however, is that this degree has its limitations, career-wise.
This is the reason why many nursing schools in Arizona are offering LPN graduates with transition programs that will allow them to receive a Registered Nurse degree. Currently, there are about 41,730 RN professionals in the State of Arizona and 8,620 LPN degree holders. Data reveals that about 72% of RNs are hired within the first six to nine months after receiving their licenses. Although both LPNs and RNs contribute heavily to the healthcare industry, the preference for an RN in a healthcare facility is more pronounced and expected to rise substantially in the future.
4. The need for BSN programs
It is important for nursing candidates to understand that a rewarding nursing career does not stop at being a Registered Nurse. In fact, based on the statistics of the Board of Nursing of the State of Arizona and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, about 49,000 additional Registered Nurses would be required by 2017 in the State of Arizona alone. However, what is to become of the current crop of RNs in various healthcare facilities today?
It is expected that the current number of RNs would embark on furthering their career by taking on Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs that will allow them to assume leadership and management roles in various healthcare facilities. The good thing is that the BSN programs offered by nursing schools in Arizona are not affected too much by problems like faculty shortages or lack of clinical sites among others. It also allows those that have BSN degrees to receive substantially higher salaries.
5. Direct Entry MSN trainings
The Direct Entry MSN training program is actually offered by schools that provide Masters in Nursing training for those who have completed non-nursing degrees. This program is also sometimes referred to as Accelerated MSN programs, which is similar to that offered to RNs who want to receive their Master’s degree. The basic format is allows candidates to receive credit for the time they have served in their academic pursuits.
The program is focused on a combination of theoretical and clinical work that is extremely rigorous. It is important to understand that some nursing schools may require candidates to receive their BSN degree first before starting on this training program. MDN training programs can also be used to receive specializations like in the case of Nurse Anesthetists for example. Completion of the training program may take several years.
These are five important considerations that every nursing candidate should be fully aware of before registering or enrolling in programs offered by nursing schools in Arizona.
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