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Nursing School Degree Programs Surprise Arizona

How to Enroll In the Right RN Training Program near Surprise AZ

Surprise AZ Registered Nurse with Doctor and PatientSelecting the best nursing school near Surprise AZ may feel like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Surprise AZ RN taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Surprise AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care 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. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Surprise Arizona Nurse assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Surprise Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Programs

Surprise AZ student attending nursing classes onlineAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some 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 rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some Surprise AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential component of a Surprise AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career 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 practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

questions to ask Surprise AZ nursing degree programsOnce you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Surprise AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Surprise 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 programs 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Surprise AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Surprise AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Surprise AZ RN Program

Surprise AZ RN holding newbornDeciding on the right nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community.  By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Surprise AZ.