How to Find the Best Nursing School Online in Peoria Arizona
Finding the best nursing college near Peoria AZ may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
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Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Peoria AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic 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. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Peoria AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Courses
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Peoria AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Peoria AZ or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost 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 see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Peoria AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Peoria 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 looking at 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Peoria AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Peoria AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Peoria Nursing School
Enrolling in the right nursing program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Peoria Arizona.