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How to Select the Best Nursing Training Program near Show Low Arizona

Show Low Arizona RN examining patient with stethoscopeLocating the right nursing program near Show Low AZ may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Show Low Arizona nurse taking blodd pressure of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Show Low AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 School Degrees

There are several degree options available 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Show Low AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 wish 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Show Low Arizona RN holding health chartAttending nursing programs online is becoming 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 almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Show Low AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an indispensable part of a Show Low AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses provide direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

registered nurse reading with Show Low Arizona assisted living patientOnce you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Show Low AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Show Low AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 specific 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 excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Show Low 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Show Low AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Show Low AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Classes in Show Low

Choose the Right Arizona RN College

Enrolling in the right nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose 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 Show Low Arizona.


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