How to Select a Nursing Program near Desert Center California
Selecting the right nursing program near Desert Center CA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with 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 a large number of different medical settings, including Desert Center CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Desert Center CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving 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 obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Desert Center CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Desert Center CA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Desert Center CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Desert Center 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Desert Center CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Desert Center CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Desert Center CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Desert Center CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Desert Center 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.
Desert Center, California
Desert Center is a census designated place in the Colorado Desert in Riverside County, California. It is in southern California, between the cities of Indio and Blythe at the junction of Interstate 10 and State Route 177 (Desert Center-Rice Road), about halfway between Phoenix and Los Angeles. The ZIP Code is 92239, and the community is in telephone area codes 442 and 760. The elevation is 656 feet (200 m). The population was 204 at the 2010 census.
The town was founded in 1921 by Stephen A. Ragsdale, also known as "Desert Steve", and his wife, Lydia. Ragsdale was an itinerant preacher and cotton farmer, originally from Arkansas. In 1915, he left his farm in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River to attend to some business in Los Angeles. The road between Phoenix and Los Angeles was mostly sand, and Ragsdale's vehicle broke down near a place called Gruendyke's Well. This featured a hand-dug well and was inhabited by a prospector named Bill Gruendyke. Gruendyke rescued Ragsdale and gave him food, shelter, and water until his vehicle was repaired and he could resume his journey to Los Angeles.
Upon his return, Ragsdale bought out Gruendyke and moved his family to the remote spot, where they constructed a small shack with a lean-to that served as a repair garage. A Model T truck was modified to serve as a tow car. Gasoline was pumped by hand from a 55-gallon drum. Lydia served food and refreshments to thirsty and weary travelers. In spite of the remote location—50 miles (80 km) in any direction from anything—the Ragsdales prospered. Ragsdale named his outpost "Desert Center". In 1921, it was announced that the sand road running through Desert Center would be relocated about 5 miles (8.0 km) north, straightened, paved, and named U.S. Route 60, a modern "high-speed" highway. Ragsdale abandoned "old Desert Center" and built a poured-concrete café in the adobe style with an attached gasoline station and a huge service garage. Across the road, a series of wooden structures were built, including a market (which at one time was the largest Coleman camping equipment dealer in the country), and a post office. He also built several cabins for travelers, and a large "plunge" (swimming pool) next to the café where travelers could escape the desert heat.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Desert Center CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Desert Center CA.
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