How to Enroll In the Best RN Degree Program near Douglas Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near Douglas AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Douglas AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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 Degree Options
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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Douglas AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 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 generally a two year program after obtaining 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 obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary 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
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Douglas AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an important part of a Douglas AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Douglas AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Douglas AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Douglas 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Douglas AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Douglas AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Arizona RN School
Choosing the right nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 Douglas Arizona.