How to Enroll In an Accredited Nursing Course near Green Valley Arizona
Choosing the right nursing school near Green Valley AZ may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Green Valley AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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 School Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Green Valley AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately 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 usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Green Valley AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an integral part of a Green Valley AZ medical team, and for a number of 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 several reasons, 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 doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of 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 variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Green Valley AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Green Valley 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Green Valley 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Green Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Green Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Arizona RN Program
Selecting the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Green Valley Arizona.