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Nursing School Degree Programs Glendale Arizona

How to Pick the Right RN Course near Glendale AZ

Glendale AZ Registered Nurse with Physician and PatientSelecting the right nursing college near Glendale AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Glendale AZ RN taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Glendale AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Glendale Arizona Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Glendale Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares 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 ultimately earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Glendale Arizona student attending nursing college onlineAttending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Glendale AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Glendale AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. 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 compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Glendale 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 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 Glendale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Glendale AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Glendale AZ Nursing Program

Deciding on the ideal nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community.  By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Glendale AZ.