How to Find the Best Nursing College near Marana AZ
Searching for the best nursing college near Marana AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Marana AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Marana 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 including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Marana AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable part of a Marana AZ medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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. 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all 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 find 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 opinions 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 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 Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Marana AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Marana AZ Nursing School
Deciding on the right nursing program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana AZ.