How to Choose the Right Nursing School Online in Oro Valley Arizona
Searching for the right nursing program near Oro Valley AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
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RN Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Oro Valley AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Oro Valley AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Oro Valley AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask RN Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Oro Valley AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Oro Valley AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Oro Valley 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Oro Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Oro Valley Nursing School
Enrolling in the right nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Oro Valley Arizona.