How to Select the Best RN Course Online in Marana Arizona
Finding the right nursing program near Marana AZ may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Marana AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Marana AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Marana AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site 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 ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Marana AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Marana 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 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 Marana AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Marana Nursing College
Enrolling in the right nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana Arizona.