How to Select the Right Nursing Course Online in Casa Grande Arizona
Searching for the best nursing school near Casa Grande AZ may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
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RN Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Casa Grande AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Offered
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Casa Grande AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies 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 ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving 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 acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Courses
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Casa Grande AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask RN Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Casa Grande AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Casa Grande AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Casa Grande 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Casa Grande AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Casa Grande Nursing Program
Picking the ideal nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casa Grande Arizona.