How to Select a Nursing Program near California City California
Selecting the right nursing program near California City CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely California City CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the California City CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at California City CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near California City CA or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within 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 previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in California City CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 speak with some California City 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 programs 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 favorable reputation within the California City CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with California City CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some California City CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near California City CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater California City 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.
California City, California
California City is a city incorporated in 1965 in the northern Antelope Valley in Kern County, California, 65 miles (105 km) southwest of Death Valley National Park. The population was 14,120 at the 2010 census making California City the 331st largest city in the state by population. Covering 203.631 square miles (527.40 km2), the city is the third largest city in the state by area.
California City has a PGA golf course, one prison, one municipal airport, and is home to the California City Whiptails, a professional independent baseball league team associated with the Pecos League. Much of the workforce of Edwards Air Force Base, which is located just to the south of the city, is made up of city residents. Other major sources of employment include California City Correctional Center (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation); Mojave Air and Space Port and its flight test operations; the Hyundai/Kia Proving Grounds located in the rural southwestern part of the city; and nearby cities, such as Tehachapi, Ridgecrest, Boron, Palmdale, and Lancaster.
The area where California City now exists was largely uninhabited prior to the 1960s. Padre Francisco Garcés, a Franciscan missionary, camped at Castle Butte in what is now California City in 1776 during the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition of modern-day California and Arizona, then part of Alta California.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near California City CA
Picking the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 licensed registered nurse in California City CA.
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