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How to Pick an Accredited Nursing School near Big Park Arizona

Big Park Arizona RN examining man with stethoscopeSearching for the right nursing college near Big Park AZ may seem like a complex undertaking, 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 receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Big Park Arizona nurse reading blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Big Park AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve 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 Big Park AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly 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 obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 might want 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Programs

Big Park Arizona RN holding health chartAttending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Big Park AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an important part of a Big Park AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, including home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

registered nurse interacting with Big Park Arizona nursing home patientNow that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Big Park AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Big Park 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 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Big Park 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Big Park AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Big Park AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Degree Programs in Big Park

Enroll in the Best Arizona RN School

Selecting the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Big Park Arizona.


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