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How to Pick the Right RN Degree Program near New River Arizona

New River Arizona RN checking patient with stethoscopeChoosing the best nursing college near New River AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order 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 ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

New River Arizona nurse reading blodd pressure of senior woman

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

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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 available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 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 New River 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 medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

New River Arizona RN holding medical fileAttending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some New River AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an integral component of a New River AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human side of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver primary patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Nurse reading with New River Arizona nursing home patientOnce you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near New River AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • 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. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with New River AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Schools in New River

Enroll in the Best Arizona RN College

Deciding on the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 New River Arizona.


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