How to Find the Right Nursing School near Oracle Arizona
Choosing the best nursing college near Oracle AZ may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Oracle AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting 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), 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Oracle AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at 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 desire 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Oracle AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Oracle AZ or on the web, you can utilize 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 decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Oracle AZ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in 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. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Oracle 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Oracle AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Oracle AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Oracle AZ students. Concerning tuition, a number of 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 economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Oracle AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Oracle 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.
Buffalo Bill Cody owned the High Jinks Gold Mine in Oracle briefly and, in 1911, appeared as "Santa" for a group of local children. The community is the location of the Biosphere 2 experiment. Oracle was also the postal address for environmentalist author Edward Abbey, who never lived in the town but visited often. Oracle is becoming a bedroom community for Tucson, Arizona, but large-scale development is opposed by many residents.
Oracle State Park is adjacent. The Arizona Trail passes through the Park and community. Oracle is the gateway to the road up the "back side" of Mount Lemmon, which starts off of American Avenue and currently offers a secondary route to the top. Prior to the construction of the Catalina Highway on the opposite side of the Santa Catalina range, the Oracle Control Road was the only road access to the mountain community of Summerhaven. The term "control road" derives from the fact that the direction of traffic was restricted to one-way only, either up or down at alternate times of day, to prevent motorists from having to pass one another on the narrow, steep road. This route is now popular mainly with off-road 4x4 drivers and with off-road or dual-purpose motorcyclists, and should not be attempted by regular passenger cars or street motorcycles. This road ends at the Catalina Highway near Loma Linda.
The name "Oracle" comes from early prospectors. Albert Weldon came to the area looking for gold and silver. He and some other companions named their first mine The Oracle after the ship Weldon had traveled on. The community was later named after its first mine, and thus, indirectly, after a ship.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Oracle AZ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 licensed RN in Oracle AZ.
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