How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Program Online in Casas Adobes Arizona
Finding the best nursing school near Casas Adobes AZ may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally 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 several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Casas Adobes AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps 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 afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 generally a two 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.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Casas Adobes AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Casas Adobes AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Casas Adobes AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Best Casas Adobes Nursing School
Deciding on the right nursing college is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Casas Adobes Arizona.