How to Pick an Accredited Nursing Training Program near Casas Adobes AZ
Selecting the best nursing college near Casas Adobes AZ may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries 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 normally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently 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 generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Casas Adobes AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or on the web, 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 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 workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find 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 assessments 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 essential 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 contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Casas Adobes AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Casas Adobes AZ Nursing Program
Picking the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casas Adobes AZ.