How to Find an Accredited Nursing Course near Catalina Foothills AZ
Searching for the best nursing program near Catalina Foothills AZ may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available 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 2 years, or advance 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 normally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue 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 Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether 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 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 necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Catalina Foothills AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Catalina Foothills AZ Nursing School
Enrolling in the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Catalina Foothills AZ.