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How to Select an Accredited RN School near Rincon Valley Arizona

Rincon Valley Arizona Nurse examining patient with stethoscopeFinding the best nursing program near Rincon Valley AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Rincon Valley Arizona nurse reading blodd pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Rincon Valley AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing College Degree Options

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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Rincon Valley AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 may wish 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Rincon Valley Arizona RN holding health chartAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. 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 college for many Rincon Valley AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 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 Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an important component of a Rincon Valley AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most significant 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 doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Courses

RN reading with Rincon Valley Arizona nursing home patientNow that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Rincon Valley AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Rincon Valley 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Rincon 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rincon Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Rincon Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Degree Programs in Rincon Valley

Enroll in the Right Arizona RN School

Selecting the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Rincon Valley Arizona.


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