How to Enroll In an Accredited RN School near Anthem Arizona
Locating the right nursing school near Anthem AZ may feel like a complex endeavor, especially 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 need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Anthem AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degrees
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Anthem AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some Anthem AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an essential component of a Anthem AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses provide direct patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Anthem AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out 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 opinions 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 superb reputation within the Anthem AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Anthem AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Arizona RN College
Choosing the ideal nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing 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 choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Anthem Arizona.