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How to Find an Accredited Nursing Program near El Mirage Arizona

El Mirage Arizona RN examining man with stethoscopeLocating the right nursing college near El Mirage AZ may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

El Mirage Arizona RN taking blodd pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely El Mirage AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degree Options

There are several degree options 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations 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 two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 may wish 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 provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Classes

El Mirage Arizona Nurse holding health fileEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many El Mirage AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 job and family commitments have left you with very 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 hectic schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an indispensable component of a El Mirage AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses provide primary patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

Nurse reading with El Mirage Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near El Mirage AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing 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 prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 associations with El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Classes in El Mirage

Enroll in the Best Arizona RN School

Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in El Mirage Arizona.


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