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How to Select the Best RN Training Program near Saddlebrooke Arizona

Saddlebrooke Arizona RN examining patient with stethoscopeSelecting the best nursing school near Saddlebrooke AZ may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Saddlebrooke Arizona RN taking blodd pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Saddlebrooke AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Saddlebrooke AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 might want 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Degrees

Saddlebrooke Arizona Nurse holding health chartAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some Saddlebrooke AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an indispensable component of a Saddlebrooke AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession due to a passion to administer 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 research or analytical related elements, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, including nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Courses

Nurse interacting with Saddlebrooke Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Saddlebrooke AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring 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 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) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in 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 evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Saddlebrooke AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Saddlebrooke AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Classes in Saddlebrooke

Enroll in the Right Arizona RN Program

Enrolling in the right nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Saddlebrooke Arizona.


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