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Nursing School Degree Programs San Luis Arizona

How to Pick the Right Nursing Course near San Luis AZ

San Luis AZ RN with Doctor and PatientLocating the right nursing program near San Luis AZ may seem like a challenging project, especially if you aren't sure what to search 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 to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

San Luis AZ RN taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as San Luis AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

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

San Luis Arizona Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the San Luis Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain 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 able 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

San Luis AZ student attending nursing classes onlineAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many San Luis AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an important component of a San Luis AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related facets, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, including home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

what to ask San Luis AZ nursing training collegesOnce you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near San Luis AZ or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. 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 pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with San Luis AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Best San Luis AZ Nursing Program

San Luis AZ pediatric nurse holding newbornSelecting the right nursing school is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community.  By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in San Luis AZ.