How to Pick a Nursing College near Delano California
Choosing the right nursing school near Delano CA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Delano CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 is more than one degree option to choose from 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Delano CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps 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 afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately 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 training can be obtained at Delano CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Delano CA or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Delano 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Delano 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 programs you are considering 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Delano CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Delano CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Delano CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Delano CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Delano 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.
Delano (/dəˈleɪnoʊ/ də-LAY-noh) is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Delano is located 31 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Bakersfield at an elevation of 315 feet (96 m). The population was 52,088 in 2016, up from 38,824 in 2000. It is Kern County's second largest city after Bakersfield.
Agriculture is Delano's major industry. The area is particularly well known as a center for the growing of table grapes. Delano is also home to two California state prisons, North Kern State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison. The Voice of America once operated its largest, most powerful shortwave broadcast facility outside Delano at 35°45′15″N 119°17′7″W / 35.75417°N 119.28528°W / 35.75417; -119.28528. However, the Voice of America ceased broadcasts in October 2007, citing a changing political mission, reduced budgets, and changes in technology.
Delano's two school districts currently operate eight elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools and two alternative high schools. The city has its own police department and contracts with the Kern County Fire Department for fire services, EMS services are privately provided by local company, Delano Ambulance Service.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Delano CA
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Delano CA.
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