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How to Find the Best RN Course near Paradise Valley Arizona

Paradise Valley Arizona RN examining man with stethoscopeLocating the best nursing program near Paradise Valley AZ may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree choices that are available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Paradise Valley Arizona RN taking vital signs of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Paradise Valley AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

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

Nursing College Degree Options

There are several degree options 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain 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 Paradise Valley AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Programs

Paradise Valley Arizona Nurse holding health chartAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Paradise Valley AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an indispensable part of a Paradise Valley AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, including home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Programs

Nurse interacting with Paradise Valley Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Paradise Valley AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.

  • 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Paradise Valley 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Paradise Valley 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 schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 Paradise Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Paradise Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Colleges in Paradise Valley

Choose the Right Arizona RN College

Choosing the right nursing college is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Paradise Valley Arizona.


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