How to Enroll In the Best RN Training Program Online in Catalina Foothills Arizona
Finding the right nursing program near Catalina Foothills AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
It Takes Just a Minute to Start Your Nursing Career in Arizona!
RN Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Catalina Foothills AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 generally a 2 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 earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask RN Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Catalina Foothills AZ or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Catalina Foothills 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Catalina Foothills 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 considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Best Catalina Foothills Nursing College
Choosing the right nursing school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Catalina Foothills Arizona.