How to Choose a Nursing Program near Lake Isabella California
Finding the best nursing program near Lake Isabella CA may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Lake Isabella CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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.
There is more than one degree option available 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lake Isabella CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides 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, she or he 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 don’t forget to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Lake Isabella CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Lake Isabella CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many 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 site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first 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 selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Lake Isabella CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lake Isabella CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 favorable reputation within the Lake Isabella CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Lake Isabella CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending 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 alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Lake Isabella CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lake Isabella CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lake Isabella 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.
Lake Isabella, California
Lake Isabella (formerly, Isabella) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the southern Sierra Nevada, in Kern County, California, United States. It is named after the Lake Isabella reservoir and located at its southwestern edge, 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Wofford Heights in the Kern River Valley.
The town of Lake Isabella is located 35 miles (56 km) east-northeast of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 2,513 feet (766 m). The population was 3,466 at the 2010 census, up from 3,315 at the 2000 census.
Lake Isabella is at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Kern River. These rivers are 'wild', in that they are not controlled by any dam upstream. Upstream on the North Fork white water enthusiasts play in the spring and early summer. The famous Golden Trout originate in these rivers in the high country to the north.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Lake Isabella CA
Choosing the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lake Isabella CA.
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