How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Cathedral City California
Locating the right nursing school near Cathedral City CA may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Cathedral 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 exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cathedral City CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Cathedral City CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure 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 recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Cathedral City CA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Cathedral City CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cathedral City CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cathedral City CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Cathedral City CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Cathedral City CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of 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 affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations 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 Cathedral City CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cathedral 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.
Cathedral City, California
Cathedral City is a city in Riverside County, California. Colloquially known as Cat City, the population was 51,200 at the 2010 census. Located between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, it is one of the nine cities of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) in Southern California. Cathedral City has the second largest population in the Coachella Valley, after Indio.
The city's name derives from "Cathedral Canyon" to the south of the town, so named in 1850 by Colonel Henry Washington because of its rock formations that are reminiscent of a cathedral. The city started as a housing subdivision in 1925, but it was not incorporated until 1981, and it has grown significantly in population since then.
Cathedral City had a downtown revitalization program started in the late 1990s, with much completed by 2005. A new city hall was built as was the IMAX/Mary Pickford movie theater complex, and a total of 130 acres (0.53 km2) of new or remodeled stores.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Cathedral City CA
Picking the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cathedral City CA.
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