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Nursing School Degree Programs Oro Valley Arizona

How to Pick the Best Nursing Course near Oro Valley AZ

Oro Valley AZ Registered Nurse with Physician and PatientLocating the best nursing program near Oro Valley AZ may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Oro Valley AZ Nurse taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Oro Valley AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Oro Valley Arizona RN assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees offered 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Oro Valley Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides 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 want to advance 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Degrees

Oro Valley AZ woman attending nursing school onlineAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Oro Valley AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an integral component of a Oro Valley AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

what to ask Oro Valley AZ nursing degree programsOnce you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Oro Valley AZ or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Oro Valley 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 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 good reputation within the Oro Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Oro Valley AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Oro Valley AZ Nursing Program

Oro Valley AZ nurse holding babyEnrolling in the right nursing degree program is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community.  By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Oro Valley AZ.