How to Enroll In an Accredited RN Training Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near Apache Junction AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Apache Junction AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain 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 Apache Junction AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 may desire to advance 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Apache Junction AZ students. Concerning tuition, some 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 economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Become a Nurse?Nurses are an indispensable part of a Apache Junction AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most notable 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 physicians. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Apache Junction AZ or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Apache Junction AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Apache Junction 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 looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Apache Junction AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Arizona RN College
Picking the ideal nursing program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Apache Junction Arizona.