How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Course Online in Apache Junction Arizona
Finding the right nursing college near Apache Junction AZ may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Apache Junction AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Apache Junction AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Courses
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some Apache Junction AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with 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 hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Apache Junction AZ or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Apache Junction AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Apache Junction 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 unhappy 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 Apache Junction AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Best Apache Junction Nursing Degree Program
Selecting the ideal nursing program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Apache Junction Arizona.