How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Fall River Mills California
Locating the best nursing school near Fall River Mills CA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Fall River Mills CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact 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:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered 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 just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Fall River Mills CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Fall River Mills CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Fall River Mills CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Fall River Mills 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fall River Mills 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Fall River Mills CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Fall River Mills CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Fall River Mills CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Fall River Mills CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fall River Mills 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.
Fall River Mills, California
Fall River Mills Airport, Tonkin Field (FAA LID: O89) is a public airport located off Main Street, in downtown Fall River Mills, serving Shasta County. The airport has one runway and is mostly used for general aviation. It is the only airport within 75 miles (121 km) of Redding and Alturas.
The airport was originally built in the 1940s as a location to train pilots for World War II. Over the years, the airport has been maintained and upgraded largely due to funding provided from the California Aid to Airports Program (CAAP). Today the airport has nine permanent t-hangars, five Portable hangars, approximately 30 tie-downs, and provides aviation fuel sales. The airport is equipped with runway lights which are designed to be turned on at night by the pilots as they approach the airport.
Fall River Mills is nestled between the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade mountain ranges in the far Northeast corner of Shasta County, California. The town is surrounded by mountains in all four cardinal directions with Mt Shasta and Mt Lassen visible from anywhere in the Fall River Valley.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Fall River Mills CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fall River Mills CA.
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