How to Pick a Nursing Program near Mount Shasta California
Locating the best nursing college near Mount Shasta CA may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Mount Shasta CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Mount Shasta CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive 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 may desire to progress 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Mount Shasta CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Mount Shasta CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely 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 ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Mount Shasta CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mount Shasta 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Mount Shasta CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Mount Shasta CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Mount Shasta CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Mount Shasta CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Mount Shasta 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.
Mount Shasta, California
Mount Shasta (also known as Mount Shasta City) is a city in Siskiyou County, California, at about 3,600 feet (1,100 m) above sea level on the flanks of Mount Shasta, a prominent northern California landmark. The city is less than 9 miles (14 km) southwest of the summit of its namesake volcano. As of the 2010 Census the city had a population of 3,394, down from 3,624 at the 2000 census.
The city of Mount Shasta is located in the Shasta Cascade area of Northern California. Visitors use the city as a base for trout fishing in the nearby Sacramento, McCloud and Klamath rivers, for climbing at Mount Shasta, Castle Crags or the Trinity Alps, or to view scenery. Both alpine and cross-country skiing runs are available nearby as well as biking or hiking to waterfalls, streams and lakes in the area, including nearby Mossbrae Falls, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake and Shasta Lake.
The site of the present-day city of Mount Shasta was within the range of the Okwanuchu tribe of Native Americans. During the 1820s, early Euro-American trappers and hunters first passed through the area, following the path of the Siskiyou Trail. The Siskiyou Trail was based on a network of ancient Native American footpaths connecting California and the Pacific Northwest. The discovery of gold at nearby Yreka, California in 1851 dramatically increased traffic along the Siskiyou Trail and through the site of present-day Mount Shasta. Pioneer Ross McCloud built one of the first lumber mills in the area, near the site of the present Sisson Museum. The completion of a stagecoach road between Yreka and Upper Soda Springs in the late 1850s led to the building of Sisson's Hotel, as a stop for weary travelers, and as a staging ground for adventuresome tourists intending to climb Mount Shasta.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Mount Shasta CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mount Shasta CA.
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