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How to Pick the Right Nursing Degree Program near Fortuna Foothills Arizona

Fortuna Foothills Arizona Nurse examining man with stethoscopeSearching for the right nursing college near Fortuna Foothills AZ may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Fortuna Foothills 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 settings, namely Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty 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:

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

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Programs

Fortuna Foothills Arizona RN holding medical chartEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Fortuna Foothills AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an integral component of a Fortuna Foothills AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Courses

Nurse reading with Fortuna Foothills Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fortuna Foothills AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. 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 already pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet 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, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fortuna Foothills AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are looking at 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 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 Fortuna Foothills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Colleges in Fortuna Foothills

Enroll in the Best Arizona RN College

Picking the right nursing program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.


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