Home >> Arizona >> San Luis >> Nursing Schools


Nursing School Degree Programs San Luis Arizona

How to Choose the Right Nursing College near San Luis AZ

San Luis AZ Registered Nurse with Physician and PatientSearching for the best nursing school near San Luis AZ may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

San Luis AZ RN taking blood pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as San Luis AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating 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 example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

San Luis Arizona RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain 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 commonly a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

San Luis Arizona student attending RN school onlineEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many San Luis AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near San Luis AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly 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 workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. 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 compares to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine 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 assessments 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the San Luis AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship 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

Choosing the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in San Luis AZ.