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How to Pick the Best RN Course near El Mirage Arizona

El Mirage Arizona RN examining patient with stethoscopeSearching for the best nursing school near El Mirage AZ may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

El Mirage Arizona nurse taking blodd pressure of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as El Mirage AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

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

Nursing College Degrees

There are several degree options offered 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 as little as two years, or advance 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 El Mirage AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies 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 attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving 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 attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

El Mirage Arizona Nurse holding health chartAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some El Mirage AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an essential component of a El Mirage AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

registered nurse reading with El Mirage Arizona nursing home patientNow that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near El Mirage AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so 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 first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many El Mirage AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some El Mirage 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Schools in El Mirage

Choose the Best Arizona RN College

Deciding on the right nursing college is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical 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 produce a shortlist 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 El Mirage Arizona.


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