How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Bridgeport California
Searching for the right nursing school near Bridgeport CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Bridgeport CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bridgeport CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Bridgeport CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Bridgeport CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Bridgeport CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bridgeport 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 colleges 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Bridgeport CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Bridgeport CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Bridgeport CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Bridgeport CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bridgeport 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.
Bridgeport is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Mono County, California, United States. It lies at an elevation of 6463 feet (1970 m) in the middle of the Bridgeport Valley. Bridgeport is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 395 and State Route 182. The population was 575 at the 2010 census.
The first post office at Bridgeport opened in 1864. The ZIP code is 93517, and the community is in area codes 442 and 760. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 21.7 sq mi (56.3 km2), 99.96% of it land, and 0.04% of it water. The US Marine Corps' Mountain Warfare Training Center is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Bridgeport on State Route 108.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Bridgeport had a population of 575. The population density was 26.4 people per square mile (10.2/km²). The racial makeup of Bridgeport was 484 (84.2%) White, 1 (0.2%) African American, 43 (7.5%) Native American, 1 (0.2%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 25 (4.3%) from other races, and 21 (3.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 148 persons (25.7%).
Select the Right Nursing Program near Bridgeport CA
Picking the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account 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 in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bridgeport CA.
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