A registered nurse (RN) is a licensed professional who works directly with patients to provide medical care. This is an occupation that is essential for patient care and, According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to grow at a faster than average pace in coming years.

The day-to-day work of a registered nurse can vary greatly depending on the specialty you choose and environment that you work in. However, registered nurses who have attained a higher level of education and training generally enjoy more independence and less supervision when it comes to making decisions and treatment plans for their patients.

The typical duties and responsibilities of a registered nurse include:

  • Educating patients and their families about treatment plans and health conditions
  • Providing emotional support for patients and their loved ones
  • Assisting physicians
  • Carrying out the medical orders of a physician
  • Administering medication
  • Supervising LPNs and nursing students

Skills needed for the job include:

  • Detailed understanding of human anatomy and physiology
  • Ability to work within computerized health systems
  • Organization
  • Critical thinking
  • Analytical skills
  • Patience
  • Passion for helping others

Interpersonal skills are also needed to excel as a registered nurse. The job requires that RNs provide direct patient care, which means that you will be interacting with patients daily. RNs also typically work directly under a physician, alongside other health professionals, and as a supervisor for some colleagues. This can lead to complex relationship dynamics that require registered nurses to balance numerous roles within the same work environment.

To learn more about how Arizona College can help you start a career in the growing field of nursing, fill out the Request Information form to the right and one of our qualified representatives will provide you with the information you need.

Career Paths for Registered Nurses

Both the specialty and the environment chosen define the career paths of registered nurses.

Some specialties to choose from include:

  • Surgical
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Emergency Care
  • Hospice
  • Oncology
  • Education

Commonly chosen work environments include:

  • Hospitals
  • Surgical Facilities
  • Emergency Care Facilities
  • Long-term Care at Home
  • Nursing Homes
  • Physicians’ Offices
  • Outpatient Facilities
  • Home Healthcare
  • Schools/Education Facilities
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Military Bases

Learning how to become a registered nurse and pursuing a career in the nursing field begins with understanding the educational requirements in Arizona.

Nursing Education Paths

The Arizona College nursing degree program is a baccalaureate level program that is designed to provide students with an extensive understanding of the skills needed to become a registered nurse. A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing is one of four education levels that are recognized by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and the Nevada State Board of Nursing.

The levels of education for registered nurses include:

  • Nursing Diploma – Some schools will offer a nursing diploma, which is an entry-level educational program. Typically these are obtained through hospital-based nursing schools.
  • Associates Degree in Nursing – An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2-3 year, career-focused program. The course is centered solely on nursing coursework.
  • Bachelors in Nursing – A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is usually a 3-4 year program that results in the student receiving a bachelor’s degree.
    • The degree program is focused on nursing science and healthcare coursework, however it also includes general studies.
    • Those who hold a BSN will be qualified for positions that require an associate’s degree as well as positions that require a bachelor’s level education. This gives BSN holders a competitive edge over other job applicants.
  • Master’s Degree in Nursing – A master’s degree is one of the highest levels of education that a nursing student can achieve.
    • Those that hold a master’s degree in nursing will be eligible for advanced jobs such as nurse practitioners and nurse midwives.
    • Students must attain a BSN before they can enroll in a master’s level nursing program.
  • The NCLEX-RN Exam – In addition to completing a nursing program approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing, individuals must also take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam before they can apply for a license. Licensure is needed in the state of Arizona in order to work as a registered nurse.

Ready to take the first step towards becoming a registered nurse? Use the Request Information form to contact the dedicated RN admissions team at Arizona College. This program is offered at our Mesa and Las Vegas Campuses only.