The increase in demand for nurses has also led to the increase in interest in the RN programs in Arizona, particularly for students who want to enter a good and stable industry and established professionals considering a career change. This article lists down some factors you will want to consider when evaluating which nursing school in AZ you will be entering, as well as the top five Arizona nursing schools today.
Choosing from the RN programs in Arizona
The school that you eventually choose can have a huge impact on your career later on in life, which is why you need to be very careful when choosing which of the nursing programs in Arizona you will be entering. Some of the factors you will want to look into when evaluating RN programs Arizona are:
- Accreditation. Before anything else, make sure that the school that you choose is accredited by an official nursing body such as the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing and Education. That way, you will not only be guaranteed of receiving quality education from the school, you will also have the confidence in knowing that your school is officially recognized by the professional nursing council. Employers are also more confident in job applicants who come from accredited schools compared to non-accredited ones.
- Degree options. You have three degree options in RN programs in Arizona: BSN (four years), Associate’s degree (two years), and diploma course (three years). Furthermore, there are also courses that allow you to convert your course into a more advanced one (ex. LPN to RN and RN to BSN). Choose the program that not only covers the length of time that’s convenient for you, but also one that will be able to provide you with the training and education that you will need, given what your plans are for your career.
- Location. While others are more comfortable taking online courses so that they will be able to study even without having to go to a physical campus, a lot of people are still more comfortable in a classroom setting. If you’re one of the latter, be sure to consider the location of the school as well. What’s the maximum amount of time you’re willing to spend traveling to get to your classes? Will you be willing to relocate just to be close to your school?
- Schedule. Check to see if the schedule of the classes will fit your own schedule. This issue won’t be much of a problem for those who are studying full-time, but this can be problematic for working students.
- Specialization. Are you planning on specializing in a certain area in nursing? If that’s the case be sure to look at RN programs in Arizona that focus in this area. Different programs focus on different areas, so make sure to choose a school that gives you the training that you’re looking for.
- Pass rate. Getting your degree is only the first step in order for you to work as a nurse. You will also need to pass the licensure exam in order to practice in this profession. Make sure that the school that you choose has a high pass rate to increase your chances of passing the exam.
- Fees. Don’t just consider how much the tuition fees will be, but also how much your overall expenses will be should you choose that nursing program. If need be, you can check if the school has a financial aid program if you need to get help in paying for the fees for your education.
The top 5 RN programs in Arizona
- University of Arizona. The University of Arizona is in Tucson. The school offers two nursing programs: a bachelor’s degree and an accelerated program for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to have a career change in nursing. The accelerated program lasts 14 months.
- Arizona State University. Arizona State University also has two nursing programs: one is a 16-month program and the other one is a 24-month program.
- Northern Arizona University. Like the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University also has an accelerated program for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.
- Grand Canyon University. Grand Canyon University is a private and nondenominational Christian school in Phoenix. Its mission is to fuse Christian values with academic and clinical rigor to prepare students for the work ahead.
- Maricopa Community Colleges. Maricopa Community Colleges offers nursing to different parts of Arizona, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Paradise Valley, and Mesa.
Nursing can be a rewarding career, both financially and economically. However, your success in the profession can and will depend on the kind of training you got when you were still in school. Make sure to carefully evaluate the RN programs in Arizona so you can pick the best one for you.