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How to Enroll In the Right RN Degree Program near Anthem Arizona

Anthem Arizona Nurse examining man with stethoscopeFinding the best nursing school near Anthem AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Anthem Arizona nurse taking blodd pressure of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Anthem AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Anthem AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two 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.

Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Anthem Arizona RN holding health fileEnrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular 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 rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Anthem AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an integral part of a Anthem AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Courses

RN interacting with Anthem Arizona nursing home patientOnce you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Anthem AZ or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower 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 as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Anthem AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Anthem AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Anthem AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Anthem AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Colleges in Anthem

Choose the Right Arizona RN Program

Selecting the ideal nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Anthem Arizona.


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