How to Find the Right Nursing School near Paradise Valley Arizona
Locating the best nursing school near Paradise Valley AZ may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are a number of important additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Paradise Valley AZ medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Paradise Valley AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher 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 qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some Paradise Valley AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Paradise Valley AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Paradise Valley AZ, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Paradise Valley 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Paradise Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Paradise Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Paradise Valley AZ?
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Paradise Valley is a small, affluent town in Maricopa County, Arizona. The town is known for its luxury golf courses, shopping, and restaurant scene. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 12,820. Despite the town's relatively small area and population compared to other municipalities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Paradise Valley is home to eight full-service resorts, making it one of Arizona's premier tourist destinations. It is also known for expensive real estate.
It should not be confused with Paradise Valley Village, an official municipal designation, in northeast Phoenix. For instance, Paradise Valley Community College, Paradise Valley High School, Paradise Valley Hospital, Paradise Valley Mall, and Paradise Valley Golf Course are all located several miles to the north of the town, in Phoenix. The town's name along with all the other various entities bearing the same name comes from the expansive area known as Paradise Valley, that spreads from north of the Phoenix Mountains to Cave Creek and Carefree on the north and the McDowell Mountains to the east.
The Paradise Valley Unified School District is one of the largest in the state, though like many other institutions with the name Paradise Valley, it refers to the Phoenix village, and not to the town.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Paradise Valley AZ
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Paradise Valley AZ.
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