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How to Pick an Accredited Nursing Training Program near Catalina Arizona

Catalina Arizona Nurse checking man with stethoscopeFinding the best nursing program near Catalina AZ may feel like a complex project, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Catalina Arizona RN reading blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Catalina AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Catalina AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two 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 earned 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Programs

Catalina Arizona RN holding health fileEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some Catalina AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an integral component of a Catalina AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

RN reading with Catalina Arizona assisted living patientNow that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Catalina AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Catalina 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Catalina 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Catalina AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Catalina AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Training in Catalina

Choose the Right Arizona RN College

Picking the right nursing college is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Catalina Arizona.


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