How to Choose the Best RN School near Casas Adobes Arizona
Selecting the best nursing program near Casas Adobes AZ may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
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Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Casas Adobes AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Casas Adobes AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your job 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 more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Casas Adobes AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Casas Adobes 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Casas Adobes Nursing Degree Program
Selecting the ideal nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Casas Adobes Arizona.