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How to Select the Best Nursing Program Online in El Mirage Arizona

El Mirage Arizona neonatal nurse with newbornChoosing the best nursing program near El Mirage AZ may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, 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 research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

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RN Job Functions

El Mirage Arizona Nurse with senior woman patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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 Degree Options

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the El Mirage AZ area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Colleges

El Mirage Arizona Registered Nurse setting up IV drip prior to surgeryEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some El Mirage AZ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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 commitments have left you with very little 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 active schedule.

Things to Ask RN Training Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near El Mirage AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in El Mirage 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some El Mirage 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 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 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 favorable reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

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Pick the Right El Mirage Nursing Program

Selecting the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in El Mirage Arizona.



 

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