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Nursing School Degree Programs San Luis Arizona

How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Training Program near San Luis AZ

San Luis AZ Registered Nurse with Doctor and PatientLocating the right nursing school near San Luis AZ may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

San Luis AZ Nurse taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely San Luis AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some 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
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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

San Luis Arizona RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the San Luis Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers 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 expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Classes

San Luis Arizona woman attending RN college onlineAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many San Luis AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near San Luis AZ or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some states require a specific 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some San Luis 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the San Luis AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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 also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with San Luis AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best San Luis AZ Nursing School

Choosing the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 San Luis AZ.