How to Select the Best RN Program Online in Casa Grande Arizona
Locating the right nursing college near Casa Grande AZ may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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RN Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Casa Grande AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 instance, 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 Offered
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Casa Grande AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Casa Grande AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask RN Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Casa Grande AZ or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Casa Grande AZ 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Casa Grande 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Casa Grande 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 acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Casa Grande Nursing School
Selecting the ideal nursing college is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casa Grande Arizona.