How to Pick the Best RN Program near Marana AZ
Searching for the right nursing college near Marana AZ may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Marana AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available 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 readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might wish 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order 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 requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Marana AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments 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 Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet 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 agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Marana AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Marana AZ RN Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana AZ.