How to Select a Nursing Program near Catalina Arizona
Searching for the right nursing program near Catalina AZ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Catalina AZ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Catalina AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Arizona approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Catalina AZ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Catalina AZ or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial 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 see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Catalina AZ 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) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, 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 Catalina 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Catalina AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific 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 Catalina AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Catalina AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Catalina AZ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Catalina 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.
Catalina is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. The population was 7,025 at the 2000 census. Catalina continues to experience increasing population growth, while attempting to maintain its rural character. Catalina remains an unincorporated community, with no plans for annexation into any nearby towns.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,025 people, 2,567 households, and 1,899 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 506.6 people per square mile (195.6/km²). There were 2,755 housing units at an average density of 198.7/sq mi (76.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 85.21% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 1.44% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 9.71% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. 23.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,567 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.05.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Catalina AZ
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Catalina AZ.
More Awesome Locations in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 20