How to Select a Nursing Program near Colton California
Choosing the right nursing school near Colton CA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain 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 contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Colton CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Colton CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally 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 kind of credential you seek, 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 syllabus properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Colton CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 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 period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Colton CA or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within 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 previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Colton 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) as well as 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Colton 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Colton CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Colton CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many Colton CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Colton CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Colton 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.
Colton is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Nicknamed "Hub City", it is located in the Inland Empire region of the state and is approximately 57 miles east of Los Angeles. The population of Colton is 52,154 according to the 2010 census, up from 47,662 at the 2000 census.
Colton is the site of Colton Crossing, which was one of the busiest at-grade railroad crossings in the United States. The crossing was installed in 1882 by the California Southern Railroad to cross the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks while building northward from San Diego. As a result of railroad acquisitions and mergers, this became the point at which the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's "Southern Transcontinental Route" crossed the Union Pacific's "Sunset Route". As traffic on each line began to soar in the mid-1990s, fueled largely by the vast increase in imports passing through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the primitive crossing became a serious bottleneck. On August 28, 2013, the at-grade crossing was officially replaced by a fly-over that raises the east–west UP tracks over the north–south BNSF tracks.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.0 square miles (41 km2). 15.3 square miles (40 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (4.46%) is water.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Colton CA
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when deciding on 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 content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Colton CA.
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