How to Pick the Right Nursing Program near Marana Arizona
Selecting the best nursing school near Marana AZ may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Marana AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care 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. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Marana AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Marana AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Nurse?Nurses are an important component of a Marana 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 go into the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, 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 take into consideration. 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 selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marana AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Marana 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 considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Arizona RN Program
Enrolling in the right nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana Arizona.