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Nursing School Degree Programs Sun City Arizona

How to Pick an Accredited RN College near Sun City AZ

Sun City AZ Registered Nurse with Doctor and PatientSelecting the best nursing college near Sun City AZ may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Sun City AZ RN taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Sun City AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

Sun City Arizona Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Sun City Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Schools

Sun City AZ woman attending RN college onlineAttending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Sun City AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an important component of a Sun City AZ medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to administer 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 elements, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment 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, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

questions to ask Sun City AZ nursing degree programsOnce you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Sun City AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 Sun City 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 considering 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Sun City AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Sun City AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Sun City AZ RN Program

Sun City AZ pediatric nurse holding babyChoosing the right nursing school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sun City AZ.