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How to Pick the Best RN Course near Laveen Arizona

Laveen Arizona Nurse checking patient with stethoscopeSelecting the right nursing college near Laveen AZ may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Laveen Arizona nurse reading vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Laveen AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degree Options

There are multiple degrees 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Laveen 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 position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 usually a two 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.

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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Classes

Laveen Arizona Nurse holding health chartAttending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some Laveen AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential component of a Laveen AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Schools

Nurse interacting with Laveen Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Laveen AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Laveen 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Laveen AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Laveen AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Laveen AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Classes in Laveen

Choose the Right Arizona RN School

Deciding on the right nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Laveen Arizona.


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