How to Find the Right RN Program Online in El Mirage Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near El Mirage AZ may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive 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 final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the El Mirage AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Colleges
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many El Mirage AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps 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 selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near El Mirage AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in El Mirage 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some El Mirage 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right El Mirage Nursing Program
Choosing the right nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in El Mirage Arizona.