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Nursing School Degree Programs Marana Arizona

How to Find the Best Nursing Course near Marana AZ

Marana AZ Nurse with Physician and PatientSelecting the right nursing school near Marana AZ may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Marana AZ Nurse taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Marana AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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 Degrees

Marana Arizona RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And 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 just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries 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 two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Programs

Marana Arizona woman attending nursing college onlineEnrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Marana AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies 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 assessments 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 contact some Marana AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Marana AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Marana AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right Marana AZ RN Program

Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community.  By using 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.