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Nursing School Degree Programs Glendale Arizona

How to Find the Best Nursing Program near Glendale AZ

Glendale AZ Nurse with Physician and PatientSearching for the best nursing school near Glendale AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the functions of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Glendale AZ RN taking vital signs of woman

Registered nurses are the largest 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 basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

Glendale Arizona RN assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees 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 as little as two years, or continue on to achieve 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 Glendale Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Classes

Glendale AZ woman attending RN college onlineAttending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Glendale AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Glendale AZ or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably 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 prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check 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 programs you are considering 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 dissatisfied 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 Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Glendale AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Best Glendale AZ RN School

Glendale Arizona RN holding medical chartChoosing the right nursing school is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community.  By utilizing our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Glendale AZ.