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How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Training Program near Rio Rico Arizona

Rio Rico Arizona Nurse examining patient with stethoscopeSearching for the best nursing school near Rio Rico AZ may feel like a complex project, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Rio Rico Arizona nurse taking blodd pressure of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Rio Rico AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

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

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

Nursing College Degrees

There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And in order 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Rio Rico AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two 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 utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 might wish to advance 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has received 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Programs

Rio Rico Arizona RN holding health chartAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Rio Rico AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an essential part of a Rio Rico AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

RN interacting with Rio Rico Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Rio Rico AZ or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Rio Rico AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Rio Rico 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 colleges 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Rio Rico AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Rio Rico AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Schools in Rio Rico

Choose the Best Arizona RN College

Selecting the ideal nursing program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Rio Rico Arizona.


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