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Nursing School Degree Programs Catalina Foothills Arizona

How to Pick the Right RN School near Catalina Foothills AZ

Catalina Foothills AZ Nurse with Doctor and PatientFinding the best nursing school near Catalina Foothills 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 presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available together with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Catalina Foothills AZ RN taking vital signs of woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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 Degrees Available

Catalina Foothills Arizona Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Catalina Foothills Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 typically a two year program after receiving 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Catalina Foothills AZ student attending RN classes onlineAttending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an integral part of a Catalina Foothills AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

what to ask Catalina Foothills AZ nursing training programsOnce you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Catalina Foothills AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Catalina Foothills 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Catalina Foothills AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right Catalina Foothills AZ Nursing School

Catalina Foothills AZ nurse holding newbornChoosing the right nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Catalina Foothills AZ.