How to Select a Nursing College near Lost Hills California
Finding the right nursing school near Lost Hills CA may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional things to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Lost Hills CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 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 offered in the Lost Hills CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 prior 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other 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 finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides 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 should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Lost Hills CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimum period of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Lost Hills CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Lost Hills CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lost Hills 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Lost Hills CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Lost Hills CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Lost Hills CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lost Hills CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lost Hills 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.
Lost Hills, California
Lost Hills (formerly, Lost Hill) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kern County, California, United States. Lost Hills is located 42 miles (68 km) west-northwest of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 305 feet (93 m). The population was 2,412 at the 2010 census, up from 1,938 at the 2000 census. About 75% of the population is engaged in agricultural positions.
Lost Hills is located at 35°36′59″N 119°41′39″W / 35.61639°N 119.69417°W / 35.61639; -119.69417. It stands on the east bank of the California Aqueduct. Interstate 5 is located near, but not adjacent, to Lost Hills. The town is at the intersection of State Route 46 and Lost Hills Road. The enormous Lost Hills Oil Field, which is sixth largest by remaining reserves in California, is west and northwest of town, extending about ten miles (16 km) along the range of the low Lost Hills Range, for which the town was named.
The Lost Hills post office opened in 1911, closed in 1912, re-opened in 1913 (having transferred it from Cuttens), and moved in 1937. At one time, the Post Office was a small rented room, in the Edmondson's cafe and bar. Later it was a small mobile home size building. In 2012-2013, Paramount Farms, the company for which 75% of the population works, gave the small town of Lost Hills a helping hand with the reopening of the Lost Hills park. In 2012, the town of Lost Hills underwent infrastructure projects like new sidewalks and gentrification in the town. By 2014, new housing developments started to spring up in the town of Lost Hills.
Select the Right Nursing School near Lost Hills CA
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 Lost Hills CA.
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