How to Enroll In the Best Nursing College near Casas Adobes AZ
Choosing the right nursing school near Casas Adobes AZ may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn 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 Casas Adobes Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Casas Adobes AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, 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 select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 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 placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Casas Adobes AZ RN Program
Enrolling in the ideal nursing program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 Casas Adobes AZ.