Home >> Arizona >> Prescott Valley >> Accelerated Nursing Programs


Nursing School Degree Programs Prescott Valley Arizona

How to Find an Accredited RN Course near Prescott Valley AZ

Prescott Valley AZ RN with Doctor and PatientFinding the best nursing program near Prescott Valley AZ may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Prescott Valley AZ Nurse taking blood pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating 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 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Prescott Valley Arizona Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve 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 Prescott Valley Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) 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 Schools

Prescott Valley AZ woman attending nursing school onlineEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many Prescott Valley AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Prescott Valley AZ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. 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 Prescott Valley AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are looking at 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Prescott Valley AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Prescott Valley AZ Nursing School

Prescott Valley Arizona nurse holding patient chartDeciding on the right nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Prescott Valley AZ.