How to Find the Right Nursing College near Big Bend California
Finding the right nursing program near Big Bend CA may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Big Bend CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Big Bend CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including 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 comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Big Bend CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Big Bend CA or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Big Bend 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Big Bend 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Big Bend CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Big Bend CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Big Bend CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Big Bend CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Big Bend 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.
Big Bend, California
For several thousand years prior to the 19th century, Big Bend was the heart of the territory of the Madhesi tribe (pronounced Mah-day-see) tribe (or "band") of Pit River Native Americans. The Madesi is one of nine bands (also called "tribelets") that spoke the Achomawi language. (Early anthropologists mistakenly called all nine bands in the language group "Achomawi," although only one of the bands was actually called Achomawi.)
The Madesi band's territorial region included Big Bend and the surrounding area of the Lower Pit River (Ah-choo'-mah in the Madesi dialect, which has few or no speakers still living), and several of its tributaries, such as Kosk Creek (An-noo-che'che) and Nelson Creek (Ah-lis'choo'-chah). The main village of the Madesi was on the north bank of the Pit River, east of Kosk Creek, and was called Mah-dess', or Mah-dess' Atjwam (Madesi Valley), and was directly across the river from the smaller villages that surrounded the hot springs on the river's south bank, which were called Oo-le'-moo-me, Lah'-lah-pis'-mah, and Al-loo-satch-ha.
The Big Bend area is so remote and isolated that the Madesi was one of the last indigenous peoples of California to be invaded and pushed out of their ancestral homeland. Until the 1850s, the valley where Big Bend sits (now commonly called the "Madesi Valley") was relatively unknown to Euro-Americans, and rarely visited by outsiders. By 1860, however, USA military forces of the Pitt River Expeditions and white settlers had killed or captured and relocated most Indians in the entire Pit River region.
Select the Right Nursing School near Big Bend CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Big Bend CA.
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