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How to Select the Best RN School near Holbrook Arizona

Holbrook Arizona RN examining man with stethoscopeSearching for the right nursing program near Holbrook AZ may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Holbrook Arizona RN reading vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Holbrook AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degree Options

There are several degree options offered 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Holbrook AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually a two 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.

After a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Classes

Holbrook Arizona Nurse holding health chartAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Holbrook AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an integral component of a Holbrook AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Nurse reading with Holbrook Arizona nursing home patientNow that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Holbrook AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Holbrook 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Holbrook 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 programs you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Holbrook AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Holbrook AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Classes in Holbrook

Choose the Right Arizona RN Program

Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Holbrook Arizona.


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