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How to Select the Right Nursing Program near Nogales Arizona

Nogales Arizona Nurse examining man with stethoscopeSelecting the right nursing program near Nogales AZ may seem like a complex project, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training 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 choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Nogales Arizona RN taking vital signs of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Nogales AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact 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
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

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

Nursing School Degrees

There is more than one degree option 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 just 2 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 Nogales AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has acquired 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Degrees

Nogales Arizona RN holding medical chartAttending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Nogales AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an integral part of a Nogales AZ medical team, and for a 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 personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work environments, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

RN reading with Nogales Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Nogales AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points 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 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Nogales AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Nogales 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Nogales AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Nogales AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Colleges in Nogales

Choose the Best Arizona RN Program

Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Nogales Arizona.


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