How to Find the Right Nursing School near Lincoln California
Selecting the best nursing program near Lincoln CA may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Lincoln CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 obtain 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 summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lincoln CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance 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 2 year program after achieving 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 earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 warrants 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Lincoln CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Lincoln CA or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Lincoln 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lincoln 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lincoln CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Lincoln CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Lincoln CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lincoln CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lincoln 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.
Lincoln is a city in Placer County, California, United States, part of the Sacramento metropolitan area. Located in an area of rapid suburban development, it grew 282.1 percent between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city over 10,000 people in the U.S. Its 2015 population was estimated to be 45,837.
The original townsite was surveyed and laid out in 1859 by Theodore Judah along the proposed line of the California Central Railroad. The name "Lincoln" was conferred in honor of Charles Lincoln Wilson, one of the organizers and directors of the California Central Railroad. The CCRR was planned as a rail link between the cities of Marysville and Sacramento via a connection to the Sacramento Valley Railroad in Folsom. Grading from Folsom to Marysville commenced in 1858 and was completed to Marysville by 1860. Track laying began that same year and the rails reached the site of Lincoln in early 1861. At this point, due to a lack of funds, further construction on the California Central was temporarily halted and Lincoln experienced a small-scale boom as the northern terminus of this new road. Within a few years, however, more investors were found and the line was extended to Wheatland, in Yuba County, bringing an end to this early stage of Lincoln's development.
When most of its population and business moved on with the railroad, the town settled into a lull until the early 1870s, when rich clay deposits of the Ione Formation were discovered nearby. This led to the establishment of Gladding, McBean & Co., the pottery for which Lincoln is famous, ushering in a new era of prosperity and growth.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Lincoln CA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select 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 practicing RN in Lincoln CA.
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