How to Choose a Nursing School near Lewiston California
Locating the right nursing school near Lewiston CA may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along 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 many different medical environments, such as Lewiston CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising 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), 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lewiston CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 may 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 usually a 2 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.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further 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 requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Lewiston CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial 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 training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Lewiston CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Lewiston CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specified 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lewiston 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lewiston CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Lewiston CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Lewiston CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lewiston CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lewiston 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.
This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lewiston has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
A post office called Lewiston has been in operation since 1854. The community was named after Benjamin Franklin Lewis, adopted son of town founder, Tom Palmer, who, with Lewis, ran a gold mining operation on the Trinity River in the early days of the Gold Rush. Lewiston's Online Pioneer Museum: www.oldlewistonschoolhouse.org
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lewiston had a population of 1,193. The population density was 59.6 people per square mile (23.0/km²). The racial makeup of Lewiston was 1,074 (90.0%) White, 8 (0.7%) African American, 37 (3.1%) Native American, 6 (0.5%) Asian, 5 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 21 (1.8%) from other races, and 42 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 78 persons (6.5%).
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Lewiston CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lewiston CA.
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