How to Find the Best Nursing Training Program Online in Maricopa Arizona
Locating the right nursing program near Maricopa AZ may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
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RN Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Maricopa AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Maricopa 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 centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Courses
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Maricopa AZ students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask RN Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Maricopa AZ or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Maricopa AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Maricopa 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Maricopa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Maricopa Nursing Program
Deciding on the right nursing college is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select 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 shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Maricopa Arizona.