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Nursing School Degree Programs Casas Adobes Arizona

How to Enroll In the Right RN Training Program near Casas Adobes AZ

Casas Adobes AZ Nurse with Physician and PatientLocating the best nursing program near Casas Adobes AZ may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Casas Adobes AZ Nurse taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

Casas Adobes Arizona RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options 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 just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Casas Adobes Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly 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.

Once 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Programs

Casas Adobes AZ student attending RN school onlineAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount 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 approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Casas Adobes 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 may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers 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 necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary 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 selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.

  • 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Some 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Casas Adobes AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Casas Adobes AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Best Casas Adobes AZ Nursing Program

Casas Adobes Arizona nurse holding patient chartEnrolling in the right nursing school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casas Adobes AZ.