How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program Online in Glendale Arizona
Choosing the right nursing school near Glendale AZ may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to check into before you make a decision 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 system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Glendale AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Glendale AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving 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 acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Colleges
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Glendale AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask RN Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Glendale AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Glendale AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Glendale AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Glendale Nursing College
Choosing the right nursing school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Glendale Arizona.