How to Choose a Nursing College near Lemoore California
Choosing the best nursing school near Lemoore CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Lemoore CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 is more than one degree option to choose from 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lemoore CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the core curriculum properly 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Lemoore CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Lemoore CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Lemoore CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Lemoore 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 considering 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lemoore CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Lemoore CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Lemoore CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lemoore CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lemoore 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.
Lemoore (formerly, La Tache and Lee Moore's) is a city in Kings County, California, United States. Lemoore is located 7.5 miles (12 km) west-southwest of Hanford, at an elevation of 230 feet (70 m). It is part of the Hanford-Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA Code 25260). The population was 24,531 at the 2010 Census. The California Department of Finance estimated that Lemoore's population was 26,369 on January 1, 2017.
The maps published by Thos. H. Thompson in 1892, shows three high water levels of the giant Tulare Lake in different years. The highest lake level, the one Thompson labeled "original lake line" skirts or touches the 1892 town of Lemoore's south-west corner at the current intersection of State Route 41 and State Route 198. On Thompson's map, Lemoore is on the east bank, and about five miles away Lemoore Naval Air Station would have been on the west bank of the pointy northern tip of Tulare Lake at its maximum size. At the extreme northern point of Tulare Lake was its natural, occasional "flood year" spillway northbound into Bogg Slough, Fresno Slough, and the San Joaquin River's watershed, onward to the sea at San Francisco Bay. The present (2014) remaining marshy remnants of Bogg Slough, with its unfarmed oxbow structures may be the last of their kind to avoid the plow in the Kings-San Joaquin river system. This "summit," or spillway is located just a few miles north-west of Lemoore, off Grangeville Blvd at elevation 210 feet (64 m). The spillway was wide, shallow and confusing, choked with tall tule rushes, and without observable landmarks. Only one commercial boat is known to have sailed from Tulare Lake to the San Francisco delta. Tulare Lake had huge economic importance in the region, both for the very large population of Indians, and the white pioneers. The lake supported a large commercial fishery feeding San Francisco, and a steam powered ferry servicing several towns and settlements. The receding lake continually opened up new agricultural lands for settlement. Because of its source streams being diverted, the last time the lake overflowed was 1878, and today it no longer exists.
Because the natural summit or border between the Kings River basin and the San Joaquin River's watershed, and the Kings River itself nearly intersect near Lemoore, a number of huge water works that control regional water flow are also located nearby. For example, in flood years the Kings River is diverted west into the so-called "North Fork Kings River," to Crescent Weir and related major levees eastward to the north-flowing Fresno Slough and to the sea, preventing a resurgence ("flooding") of Tulare Lake to the south. This "switch point" is located just north of Lemoore right off of Highway 41 and Elgin Ave at the New Island Weirs. In many cases the prehistoric Kings River bed has been obliterated and new channels have been constructed. However, as of 2014, in satellite images (such as Google maps, etc.) the remains of many of the old channels can still be detected.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Lemoore CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lemoore CA.
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