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Nursing School Degree Programs Peoria Arizona

How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Training Program near Peoria AZ

Peoria AZ RN with Doctor and PatientChoosing the right nursing program near Peoria AZ may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Peoria AZ Nurse taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Peoria AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

Peoria 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn 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 Peoria Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after attaining 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 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Peoria AZ student attending RN classes onlineAttending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Peoria AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Peoria AZ or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Peoria AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Peoria AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Peoria AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Peoria AZ RN Program

Peoria Arizona nurse holding medical chartEnrolling in the ideal nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Peoria AZ.