Home >> Arizona >> Mesa >> Nursing Programs


Nursing School Degree Programs Mesa Arizona

How to Select the Best RN Course near Mesa AZ

Mesa AZ Registered Nurse with Physician and PatientChoosing the best nursing college near Mesa AZ may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Mesa AZ RN taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Mesa AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Mesa Arizona RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Mesa Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Mesa AZ woman attending nursing college onlineAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Mesa AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an integral component of a Mesa AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

questions to ask Mesa AZ nursing training programsOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Mesa AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mesa 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Mesa AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Mesa AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Mesa AZ Nursing School

Mesa AZ pediatric nurse holding babyEnrolling in the ideal nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose 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 create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Mesa AZ.