How to Choose the Right RN Course near Fortuna Foothills Arizona
Searching for the best nursing program near Fortuna Foothills AZ may feel 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 must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And 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 available to aspiring students in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Fortuna Foothills AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an essential part of a Fortuna Foothills AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Fortuna Foothills AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 vary 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Fortuna Foothills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Arizona RN College
Selecting the right nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.