How to Select a Nursing College near Higley Arizona
Selecting the right nursing program near Higley AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Higley AZ medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general 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 as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Higley AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might desire 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 usually a two year program after obtaining 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some Higley AZ students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Higley AZ area and throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Higley AZ, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Higley AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Higley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Higley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Higley AZ?
Higley Unified School District
The Higley Unified School District #60, abbreviated HUSD #60 is a school district in Gilbert, Arizona. The school district serves portions of Gilbert and Queen Creek. It is one of Arizona's fastest growing school districts, with modest continued growth despite the downturn in the economy at the end of the 2000s (decade). The District owns eight elementary schools and two high schools. In August 2013, the district opened two new middle schools and all other elementary schools that hosted grades K-8 went down to K-6.
The Higley district was incorporated in 1909 with a territory far larger than its current size, but most of the land was transferred to other Valley school districts over the years. For instance, the Queen Creek Unified School District was carved out of the Higley district in 1947.Higley Elementary School was the only school in the district for the next 53 years. The district's high school students went to Gilbert Public Schools' high schools. As the Valley expanded, Larry Likes, then-superintendent of the district, brought it through an era of suburbia swallowing the local farmland. It was not long before the growth of the 1990s and 2000s caught up to the district's 24-square-mile (62 km2) service area. In 1999, the district legally unified; in 2000, it opened Coronado Elementary School, its first new school in decades; in 2001, Higley High School opened its doors; four years later, it opened up Gateway Pointe Elementary School, then a year later, it opened Cortina Elementary School; another year later, further growth induced the opening of Williams Field High School. In the spring of 2008, Higley became the first district in Arizona to receive K-12 accreditation by the AdvancED/North Central Accreditation Team. Graduating Higley seniors were offered $2.7 million in academic and athletic scholarships.
The district opened two middle schools (Cooley Middle School and Sossaman Middle School) to better prepare 7th and 8th grade students for high school and to alleviate projected capacity issues at its elementary schools.
Select the Right RN Program near Higley AZ
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Higley AZ.
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