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Nursing School Degree Programs Peoria Arizona

How to Find the Best RN Training Program near Peoria AZ

Peoria AZ RN with Physician and PatientFinding the right nursing school near Peoria AZ may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Peoria AZ Nurse taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Peoria AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Peoria Arizona Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Peoria Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

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

Online Nursing Classes

Peoria Arizona woman attending nursing college onlineAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Peoria AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions 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 Peoria AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Peoria 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Peoria AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Peoria AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right Peoria AZ RN Program

Enrolling in the ideal nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community.  By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Peoria AZ.