How to Choose a Nursing College near Alturas California
Choosing the best nursing program near Alturas CA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely 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 house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Alturas CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Alturas CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she 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 California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Alturas CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Alturas CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Alturas CA 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Alturas CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Alturas CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Alturas CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Alturas CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Alturas CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Alturas 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.
Alturas is located on the Pit River, east of the center of Modoc County, at an elevation of 4370 feet (1332 m). As the county seat, the town is a home to regional government offices, including a California Highway Patrol office and a state Department of Motor Vehicles office.
Alturas now occupies what was initially an Achumawi (Pit River) village known as Kosealekte or Kasalektawi. The city was initially known as Dorris Bridge (or Dorris' Bridge), named after Pressley and James Dorris, who built a bridge across the Pit River at this location.
The Dorris Bridge post office opened in 1871, renamed Dorrisville in 1874, and in 1876, was renamed Alturas, which is Spanish for "heights". The census of 1880 showed a population of 148. However, settlement continued over the next two decades, until the city was officially incorporated on September 16, 1901; the county's only incorporated city. Because of its central location, Dorrisville became the county seat when Modoc County formed in 1874, even though both Adin and Cedarville were then larger towns.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Alturas CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Alturas CA.
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