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How to Pick an Accredited RN Program near New River Arizona

New River Arizona Nurse examining man with stethoscopeSelecting the right nursing college near New River AZ may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

New River Arizona nurse reading vital signs of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as New River AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

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

Nursing School Degree Options

There is more than one degree option offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the New River AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Programs

New River Arizona RN holding health fileEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many New River AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an essential component of a New River AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often 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 long-term care of chronic conditions. This human side of the health profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety 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, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

registered nurse reading with New River Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near New River AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of 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 manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many New River AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, 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 satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 New River 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the New River AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with New River AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Classes in New River

Enroll in the Best Arizona RN School

Selecting the right nursing school is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in New River Arizona.


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