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How to Select the Best RN Course near Douglas Arizona

Douglas Arizona RN checking patient with stethoscopeLocating the right nursing college near Douglas AZ may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Douglas Arizona nurse taking vital signs of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Douglas AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Douglas AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies 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 afterwards obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has attained 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

Douglas Arizona RN holding medical chartAttending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Douglas AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an integral part of a Douglas AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

RN interacting with Douglas Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Douglas AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Douglas AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Douglas AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Douglas AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Colleges in Douglas

Enroll in the Right Arizona RN School

Picking the right nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Douglas Arizona.


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