How to Choose a Nursing Program near Maxwell California
Searching for the best nursing school near Maxwell CA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional things to investigate 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 system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Maxwell CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Maxwell CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN 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 concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Maxwell CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Maxwell CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Maxwell 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) in addition to 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 a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 Maxwell 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Maxwell CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Maxwell CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Maxwell CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many 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 easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Maxwell CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Maxwell 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.
William James Maxwell
Maxwell was born a son of builder Francis Maxwell (ca.1810 – 4 September 1889) and his wife Jane Young Maxwell (ca.1810 – 18 October 1889) in Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland, where he received an education. After some fifteen years in Glasgow and London he emigrated to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in 1875.
Select the Right Nursing School near Maxwell CA
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Maxwell CA.
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