How to Select an Accredited RN College near Arizona City Arizona
Choosing the best nursing program near Arizona City AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Arizona City AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And 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 short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Arizona City AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance 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 facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many Arizona City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?Nurses are an essential component of a Arizona City AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of 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 advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Arizona City AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Arizona City AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Arizona City 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 programs you are considering 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Arizona City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Arizona City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Arizona RN School
Enrolling in the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arizona City Arizona.