How to Choose a Nursing College near Escondido California
Finding the right nursing school near Escondido CA may feel like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Escondido CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Escondido CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Escondido CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training course 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 requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Escondido CA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things 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 see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Escondido CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Escondido 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Escondido 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 get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Escondido CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require 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 accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Escondido CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Escondido CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Escondido 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.
Escondido (/ˌɛskənˈdiːdoʊ/ ES-kən-DEE-doh) is a city located in San Diego County's North County region, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Downtown San Diego, California. The city occupies a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills. Incorporated in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. The city had a population of 143,911 in the 2010 census.
The Escondido area was first settled by the Luiseño, who established campsites and villages along the creek running through the area. They named the place "Mehel-om-pom-pavo." The Kumeyaay migrated from areas near the Colorado River, settling both in the San Pasqual Valley and near the San Dieguito River in the southwestern and western portions of what is now Escondido. Most of the villages and campsites today have been destroyed by development and agriculture.
Spain controlled the land from the late 18th century to the early 19th century, and established many missions in California to convert the indigenous people. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain, the local land was divided into large ranchos. Most of what is now Escondido occupies the former Rancho Rincon del Diablo ("Devil's Corner"), a Mexican land grant given to Juan Bautista Alvarado (not the governor of the same name) in 1843 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena. Alvarado was a Regidor of Los Angeles at the time, and the first Regidor of the pueblo of San Diego. The southern part of Escondido occupies the former Rancho San Bernardo, granted in 1842 and 1845.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Escondido CA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Escondido CA.
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