How to Enroll In a Nursing College near El Monte California
Locating the right nursing college near El Monte CA may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including El Monte CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend 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 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the El Monte CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 advance 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 focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at El Monte CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near El Monte CA or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in El Monte 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 required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some El Monte 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 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 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 El Monte CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with El Monte CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many El Monte 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 may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near El Monte CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater El Monte 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.
El Monte, California
El Monte /ɛl ˈmɒntiː/ is a residential, industrial, and commercial city in Los Angeles County, California, the United States. The city lies in the San Gabriel Valley east of the city of Los Angeles.
El Monte's slogan is "Welcome to Friendly El Monte" and historically is known as "The End of the Santa Fe Trail." As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 113,475, down from 115,965 at the 2000 census. As of 2010, El Monte was the 51st largest city in California.
El Monte is situated between the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Rivers; residents claimed that anything could be grown in the area. Between 1770 and 1830, Spanish soldiers and missionaries often stopped here for respite. They called the area 'El Monte,' which in Spanish means 'the mountain' or 'the mount'. Most people assume the name refers to a mountain, but there were no mountains in the valley. The word is an archaic Spanish translation of that era, meaning "the wood". The first explorers had found this a rich, low-altitude land, blanketed with thick growths of wispy willows, alders, and cattails, located between the two rivers. Wild grapevines and watercress also abounded. El Monte is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide. When the State Legislature organized California into more manageable designated townships in the 1850s, they called it the El Monte Township. In a short time the name returned to the original El Monte.
Pick the Right Nursing School near El Monte CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in El Monte CA.
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