How to Select a Nursing School near Surprise Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near Surprise AZ may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing college. There are many important additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore 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 offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Surprise AZ medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Surprise AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 may wish 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 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Surprise AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen 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 begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Surprise AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Surprise AZ, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Surprise 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Surprise AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Surprise AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Surprise AZ?
Surprise is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 30,848 at the 2000 census; however, rapid expansion has boosted the city's population to 117,517 at the 2010 census, an increase of 281%. As such, it is the second-fastest-expanding municipality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area (after Gilbert) and, between 1990 and 2000, it was the sixth-fastest-expanding place among all cities and towns in Arizona.
The city has a 10,562-square-foot (981.2 m2) Aquatics Center and Maricopa County's northwest regional library, a $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) library, along with a 100.3 cost of living index.
The city was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who named it Surprise as she "would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much". Surprise officials previously thought the city was founded by Statler's husband, real estate developer and state legislator Homer C. Ludden, but in 2010 property records were discovered which listed Statler owning the land before she met Ludden.
Pick the Right RN School near Surprise AZ
Picking the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Surprise AZ.
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