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Nursing School Degree Programs Tempe Arizona

How to Find the Best RN Training Program near Tempe AZ

Tempe AZ RN with Doctor and PatientSelecting the right nursing program near Tempe AZ may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Tempe AZ Nurse taking blood pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Tempe AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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

Tempe Arizona Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option offered 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Tempe Arizona area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Tempe Arizona student attending nursing school onlineAttending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Tempe AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Tempe AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tempe AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Tempe AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tempe AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Tempe AZ RN School

Selecting the ideal nursing program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Tempe AZ.