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How to Enroll In an Accredited RN Training Program near Coolidge Arizona

Coolidge Arizona Nurse examining man with stethoscopeSearching for the right nursing college near Coolidge AZ may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Coolidge Arizona RN reading vital signs of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Coolidge AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

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

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

Nursing College Degrees Available

There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in 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 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Coolidge AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally 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.

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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Degrees

Coolidge Arizona RN holding health chartAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Coolidge AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an integral component of a Coolidge 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 many reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

registered nurse interacting with Coolidge Arizona nursing home patientNow that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Coolidge AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Coolidge 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Coolidge 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Coolidge AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Coolidge AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Degree Programs in Coolidge

Choose the Best Arizona RN School

Choosing the ideal nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Coolidge Arizona.


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