How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Marana Arizona
Finding the best nursing program near Marana AZ may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Marana AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing 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 higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Marana AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at 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 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Marana AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Marana AZ or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Marana AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a certain 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Marana 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Marana AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Marana AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some 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 affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Marana AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Marana Arizona area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
According to historian David Leighton, the first member of the Anway family in the Tucson area was Charles B. Anway, who arrived as a result of contracting tuberculosis. In 1919, brother William and his two children Louis and Ila arrived in town but they decided to settle in an area northwest of Tucson called Postvale, Arizona. In 1920, William who had been widowed for many years married Orpha Ralston, who was a member for many years in the Postvale Co-operative Women's Club. This club was involved in getting the local post office renamed from Postvale to the area's first known name Marana and in time the town name became Marana.
The southern portion of Marana has grown considerably since the early 1990s with the addition of businesses and some housing, much of it due to annexation of existing unincorporated areas. In 1992, the Marana Town Council voted to annex an area of unincorporated Pima County that was located to the southeast of the town limits. The area selected was a narrow corridor of land that snaked its way south along Interstate 10, then to the east along Ina Road, and then south along Thornydale Road. These areas were mainly high density commercial businesses and shopping centers, including large retailers such as Super KMart (now closed), Costco Wholesale, Target, and Home Depot. The areas were selected by Marana to be annexed, by their own admission, for their sales tax revenue. The large residential areas behind these commercial areas were not annexed. As a result, the city of Tucson filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima (City of Tucson v Town of Marana) claiming that Marana illegally annexed the unincorporated areas in violation of existing state laws. However, on April 4, 1994, Judge Lina Rodriguez ruled in favor of Marana, allowing the annexation to stand. Following this suit, the Arizona State annexation laws were changed, forbidding municipalities from annexing small strips of land without taking large surrounding parcels as well. A "strip annexation" is no longer allowed under Arizona law.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Marana AZ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school 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 produce 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Marana AZ.
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