How to Find the Right Nursing College near Yosemite National Park California
Choosing the best nursing college near Yosemite National Park CA may seem like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Yosemite National Park CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 normally 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 to choose from 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Yosemite National Park CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally 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 may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 syllabus 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Yosemite National Park 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the training is state certified. In addition to 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
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Yosemite National Park CA or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Yosemite National Park CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a certain 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Yosemite National Park CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Yosemite National Park CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Yosemite National Park CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Yosemite National Park CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Yosemite National Park CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Yosemite National Park 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.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park (/joʊˈsɛmɪtɪ/, yoh-SEM-i-tee) is an American national park lying in the western Sierra Nevada of California. The park, which is managed by the U.S. National Park Service, covers an area of 747,956 acres (1,168.681 sq mi; 302,687 ha; 3,026.87 km2). Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.
On average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the 5.9 square miles (15 km2) of Yosemite Valley. The park set a visitation record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, ultimately leading to President Abraham Lincoln's signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Later, John Muir led a successful movement to establish a larger national park encompassing not just the valley, but surrounding mountains and forests as well—paving the way for the U.S. National Park system.
Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals. The park has an elevation range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet (648 to 3,997 m) and contains five major vegetation zones: chaparral and oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone, and alpine. Of California's 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada and more than 20% within Yosemite. There is suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants in the park, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Yosemite National Park CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Yosemite National Park CA.
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