How to Enroll In an Accredited RN Training Program near Casas Adobes AZ
Selecting the right nursing school near Casas Adobes AZ may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to check into 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 along with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Casas Adobes Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn 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 four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Casas Adobes AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work 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.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an integral part of a Casas Adobes AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares 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 assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Casas Adobes AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Casas Adobes AZ RN School
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. 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 exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casas Adobes AZ.