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Nursing School Degree Programs Scottsdale Arizona

How to Find the Right RN Training Program near Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ RN with Physician and PatientFinding the right nursing school near Scottsdale AZ may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea 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 acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Scottsdale AZ Nurse taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Scottsdale AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Scottsdale Arizona Nurse assisting surgeon

There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Scottsdale Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies 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 afterwards earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 prior 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

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

Online Nursing Classes

Scottsdale AZ student attending nursing college onlineAttending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Scottsdale AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential part of a Scottsdale AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide direct patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

questions to ask Scottsdale AZ nursing degree collegesOnce you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Scottsdale AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Scottsdale 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Scottsdale AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right Scottsdale AZ RN School

Scottsdale AZ nurse holding newbornPicking the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must consider when picking a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community.  By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Scottsdale AZ.