How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Florence Arizona
Searching for the right nursing college near Florence AZ may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing college. There are a number of important additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Florence AZ medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Florence 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 medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Florence AZ students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Florence AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly 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 final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Florence AZ, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Florence 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Florence AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Florence AZ?
Florence (O'odham: S-auppag) is a town, 61 miles (98 km) southeast of Phoenix, in Pinal County of Arizona, United States. Florence, which is the county seat of Pinal County, is one of the oldest towns in that county and is regarded as a National Historic District with over 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The population of Florence was 30,770 at the 2015 census.
The area where the current town of Florence is located was once inhabited by the members of the Athabascans, ancestors of the San Carlos Apache tribe. Prior to the establishment of the town, the Gila River served as a part of the border between the United States and Mexico. In 1853, the Gadsden Purchase extended American territory well south of the Gila.
Levi Ruggles, a veteran of the American Civil War, founded the town of Florence on the south bank of the Gila River. He came to Arizona Territory in 1866 as a U.S. Indian Agent. Recognizing the agricultural potential of the valley, he found an easily fordable crossing on the Gila River and surveyed a townsite there. With the aid of Governor R.C. McCormick, he secured a post office in August of the same year. Ruggles held numerous public offices including that of Territorial Legislator. Florence became the county seat in the newly formed Pinal County. Silver was discovered in 1875 in the nearby mountains which led to the creation of the famous Silver King Mine.
Choose the Right RN Course near Florence AZ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care 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 RN in Florence AZ.
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