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Nursing School Degree Programs Glendale Arizona

How to Enroll In an Accredited RN Program near Glendale AZ

Glendale AZ Nurse with Physician and PatientSelecting the right nursing program near Glendale AZ may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Glendale AZ RN taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Glendale AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Glendale Arizona Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order 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 just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Glendale Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has received 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 make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

Glendale Arizona woman attending nursing school onlineEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many Glendale AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Glendale AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.

  • 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 receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 colleges 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 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 Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations 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 program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Glendale AZ.