How to Find an Accredited Nursing School near Anthem Arizona
Searching for the right nursing school near Anthem AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Anthem AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Anthem AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many Anthem AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?Nurses are an integral component of a Anthem AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Anthem AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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 requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- 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 too. Additionally, contact 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Anthem AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Anthem AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Arizona RN School
Choosing the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Anthem Arizona.