How to Choose a Nursing Program near Lodi California
Searching for the best nursing school near Lodi CA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Lodi CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist 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 portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
Nursing Degree Options
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 just 2 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 Lodi CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 might desire 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Lodi CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 amount of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Lodi CA or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Lodi 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Lodi 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 programs 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 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 Lodi CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Lodi CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many Lodi CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lodi CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lodi 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.
Lodi (/ˈloʊdaɪ/ LOH-dye) is a city located in San Joaquin County, California, in the northern portion of California's Central Valley. The population was 62,134 at the 2010 census. Its estimated population as of July 1, 2013 was 64,338.
Lodi is best known for being a center of winegrape production (the "Zinfandel Capital of the World"), although its vintages have traditionally been less prestigious than those of Sonoma and Napa counties. However, in recent years, the Lodi Appellation has become increasingly respected for its Zinfandel and other eclectic wine varietals, along with its focus on sustainability under the Lodi Rules program. National recognition came from the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Lodi" and continues with the "2015 Wine Region of the Year" award given to Lodi by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Nearby Woodbridge is the home of the well-known winery Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi. Mondavi grew up in Lodi, and Mondavi Winery is considered[by whom?] one of the most influential in the American wine industry.
When a group of local families decided to establish a school in 1859, they settled on a site near present-day Cherokee Lane and Turner Road. In 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad was in the process of creating a new route, and pioneer settlers Ezekiel Lawrence, Reuben Wardrobe, A.C. Ayers and John Magley offered a townsite of 160 acres (0.65 km2) to the railroad as an incentive to build a station there. The railroad received a "railroad reserve" of 12 acres (49,000 m2) in the middle of town, and surveyors began laying out streets in the area between Washington to Church and Locust to Walnut. Settlers flocked from nearby Woodbridge, Liberty City, and Galt, including town founders John M. Burt and Dan Crist.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Lodi CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lodi CA.
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