How to Enroll In the Right RN Program near Casas Adobes AZ
Choosing the best nursing college near Casas Adobes AZ may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, 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 program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations 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 commonly a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Casas Adobes AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding 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 evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine 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 programs you are considering 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Casas Adobes AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Casas Adobes AZ Nursing Program
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casas Adobes AZ.