How to Choose the Right Nursing Training Program near Marana AZ
Selecting the best nursing school near Marana AZ may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly 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 need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Marana AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Marana Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some Marana AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?Nurses are an indispensable component of a Marana AZ medical team, and for many 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 enter the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to pursue 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, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses deliver primary patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in 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 working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 Marana 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Marana AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Marana AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Marana AZ RN School
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana AZ.