How to Pick the Right Nursing Program near Marana Arizona
Finding the right nursing college near Marana AZ may seem like a challenging project, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
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Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Marana AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 high level 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries 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 readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth 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 may desire 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Courses
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Marana AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Marana 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) as well as 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify 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 employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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 Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Marana Nursing School
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Marana Arizona.