How to Select the Right Nursing Program near Casas Adobes AZ
Selecting the right nursing program near Casas Adobes AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing 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 normally 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.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short 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 generally a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he 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 get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Casas Adobes AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 obligations 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 active schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an important part of a Casas Adobes AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out 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 assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 good reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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 positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Casas Adobes AZ RN Program
Selecting the ideal nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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.