How to Find the Right Nursing College near Lucerne Valley California
Selecting the right nursing program near Lucerne Valley CA may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Lucerne Valley CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lucerne Valley CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Lucerne Valley CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Lucerne Valley CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, 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 in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. 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 pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Lucerne Valley 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lucerne Valley 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 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Lucerne Valley CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Lucerne Valley CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Lucerne Valley CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lucerne Valley CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lucerne Valley 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.
Lucerne Valley, California
Lucerne Valley lies east of the Victor Valley, whose population nexus includes Victorville, Apple Valley, Adelanto and Hesperia. It is located 19 miles (31 km) east of Apple Valley, and 20 miles (32 km) north of Big Bear Lake. Distant surrounding communities include Yucca Valley which lies 45 miles (72 km) east via State Route 247/Old Woman Springs Road, and Barstow, which is 26 miles (42 km) north via State Route 247/Barstow Road.
In San Bernardino County, Lucerne Valley's area is also identified as County Service Area 29. While Lucerne Valley's "town limit" signs are within 2 miles of each other, the County Service Area Limits are much larger: in the west to Joshua Road (unpaved road east of Milpas Rd. on Hwy. 18), to the north at the 4,000 feet (1,200 m) height of Ord Mountain on Highway 247, to the south at the entrance to Cushenbury Canyon on Highway 18, and at Old Woman Springs Ranch as the eastern boundary. On June 11, 2013, Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley were merged under the same Municipal Advisory Council, which serves as an advisory reporting agency to the County of San Bernardino District Supervisor concerning the region. On August 14, 2013, Johnson Valley was sworn into the same Municipal Advisory Council as Lucerne Valley. CSA 29's borders, however, remain unchanged from the move.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lucerne Valley had a population of 5,811. The population density was 55.0 people per square mile (21.2/km²). The racial makeup of Lucerne Valley was 4,507 (77.6%) White (66.8% Non-Hispanic White), 170 (2.9%) African American, 106 (1.8%) Native American, 90 (1.5%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 676 (11.6%) from other races, and 262 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,447 persons (24.9%).
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Lucerne Valley CA
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lucerne Valley CA.
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