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How to Find an Accredited Nursing College near Marana Arizona

Marana Arizona RN examining patient with stethoscopeSearching for the best nursing school near Marana AZ may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Marana Arizona nurse reading blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Marana AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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 Degrees Available

There is more than one degree option 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 just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Marana AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 past 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Schools

Marana Arizona RN holding health chartAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Marana AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an integral part of a Marana AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care setting 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 conditions. This humanistic side of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

Nurse interacting with Marana Arizona nursing home patientNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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 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. Some states require a specified 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 requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Marana 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Classes in Marana

Enroll in the Right Arizona RN College

Deciding on the ideal nursing school is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana Arizona.


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