How to Choose the Best Nursing Course Online in Casa Grande Arizona
Choosing the best nursing school near Casa Grande AZ may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to explore 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 alternatives that are available.
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Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Casa Grande AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries 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 made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ 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 comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Colleges
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many Casa Grande AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Casa Grande AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first 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 see how your selection measures up 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. 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 contact some Casa Grande AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Casa Grande AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right Casa Grande Nursing College
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Casa Grande Arizona.