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How to Enroll In an Accredited RN College near Cave Creek Arizona

Cave Creek Arizona RN examining patient with stethoscopeSelecting the right nursing program near Cave Creek AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper 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 thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Cave Creek Arizona RN reading vital signs of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Cave Creek AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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 Available

There is more than one degree option offered 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Cave Creek AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Degrees

Cave Creek Arizona Nurse holding health fileEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Cave Creek AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an indispensable component of a Cave Creek AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide primary patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

Nurse interacting with Cave Creek Arizona assisted living patientNow that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Cave Creek AZ or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Cave Creek 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 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cave Creek 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Cave Creek AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Cave Creek AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Programs in Cave Creek

Enroll in the Right Arizona RN School

Deciding on the ideal nursing school is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cave Creek Arizona.


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