How to Pick the Best Nursing School near Casa Grande AZ
Locating the right nursing college near Casa Grande AZ may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Casa Grande AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Casa Grande Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Casa Grande AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Casa Grande AZ or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Casa Grande 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 programs 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 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 Casa Grande AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Casa Grande AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Casa Grande AZ Nursing School
Selecting the ideal nursing college is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casa Grande AZ.