How to Find the Best Nursing Training Program near Marana AZ
Choosing the best nursing school near Marana AZ may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Marana AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain 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 normally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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 change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some Marana AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit 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, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out 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 programs 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 imperative 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 contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Marana AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Marana AZ RN Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana AZ.