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How to Select the Best RN Degree Program near Fortuna Foothills Arizona

Fortuna Foothills Arizona RN examining man with stethoscopeChoosing the best nursing college near Fortuna Foothills AZ may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Fortuna Foothills Arizona RN taking blodd pressure of senior woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular 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:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

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

Nursing School Degrees Available

There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain 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 Fortuna Foothills AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Fortuna Foothills Arizona RN holding medical fileEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many Fortuna Foothills AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an integral part of a Fortuna Foothills AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

RN reading with Fortuna Foothills Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Fortuna Foothills AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, 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 stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Fortuna Foothills 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) 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 an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fortuna Foothills AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 Fortuna Foothills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Degree Programs in Fortuna Foothills

Choose the Right Arizona RN School

Enrolling in the right nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical 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 create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.


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