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Nursing School Degree Programs San Luis Arizona

How to Choose the Best Nursing Course near San Luis AZ

San Luis AZ Nurse with Doctor and PatientSelecting the best nursing program near San Luis AZ may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional things to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are available together with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

San Luis AZ RN taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely San Luis AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain 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 San Luis Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving 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 attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

San Luis AZ student attending nursing school onlineEnrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many San Luis AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near San Luis AZ or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 an exceptional 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 services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some San Luis 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the San Luis AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask 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 Arizona nurse holding patient chartEnrolling in the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in 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 health care community.  By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in San Luis AZ.