How to Pick the Best RN Degree Program near Saddlebrooke Arizona
Finding the right nursing program near Saddlebrooke AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain 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 contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Saddlebrooke AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees
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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Saddlebrooke AZ area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 want to advance 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 usually 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.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Saddlebrooke AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations 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 Choose Nursing as a Career?Nurses are an integral component of a Saddlebrooke AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly 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 long-term care of chronic ailments. This human side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Saddlebrooke AZ or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Saddlebrooke AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Saddlebrooke 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Saddlebrooke AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Saddlebrooke AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Arizona RN School
Enrolling in the right nursing program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Saddlebrooke Arizona.