How to Find the Right Nursing College near Oro Valley Arizona
Choosing the best nursing school near Oro Valley AZ may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly 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 acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
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Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Oro Valley AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Oro Valley AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered 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 attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost 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 practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Oro Valley AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Training Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Oro Valley AZ or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Oro Valley AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oro Valley 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Oro Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Oro Valley Nursing School
Selecting the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Oro Valley Arizona.