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How to Find the Right RN Program near Catalina Arizona

Catalina Arizona RN examining man with stethoscopeLocating the best nursing program near Catalina AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Catalina Arizona nurse taking blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Catalina AZ hospitals, private 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 area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

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

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

Nursing College Degrees Available

There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions 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 two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 progress 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Programs

Catalina Arizona Nurse holding medical chartEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending 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 center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Catalina AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential component of a Catalina 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 several reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive 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 settings, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Courses

registered nurse interacting with Catalina Arizona nursing home patientNow that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Catalina AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly 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 prior to making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Catalina 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 speak with some Catalina 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Catalina AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Catalina AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Training in Catalina

Enroll in the Best Arizona RN College

Picking the ideal nursing program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 Catalina Arizona.


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