How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Altaville California
Searching for the right nursing college near Altaville CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Altaville CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Altaville CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining 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 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Altaville CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Altaville CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Altaville CA 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Altaville CA 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Altaville CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Altaville CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Altaville CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Altaville CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Altaville California 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.
Altaville (formerly, Cherokee Flat, Forks-of-the Road, Low Divide, and Winterton) is a former unincorporated community in Calaveras County, California, now located in the northwest portion of the city of Angels Camp. It sits at an elevation of 1,542 feet (470 m) above sea level and is located at 38°05′02″N 120°33′43″W / 38.08389°N 120.56194°W / 38.08389; -120.56194, at the intersections of SR 49 and SR 4. The community is in ZIP code 95221 and area code 209.
The town was established in 1852 on Cherokee Creek. Notorious bandit Joaquin Murrieta supposedly spent so much time here that a mountain northwest of the creek was named Joaquin Mountain. Although gold was discovered here in 1854, it didn't last long, but the town survived due to its position as an important point for supplies and machinery. D.D. Demerest established a foundry here in 1854, and others soon followed. Most of the stamp mills and a large part of the mining machinery erected in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties were built at the Altaville Foundry. A brick schoolhouse was built at Altaville in 1858 and the townsite was established in 1873.
In the state legislature, Altaville is in the 8th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill, and the 5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Frank Bigelow. Federally, Altaville is in California's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Altaville CA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 RN in Altaville CA.
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