How to Select a Nursing Program near Cottonwood California
Choosing the best nursing program near Cottonwood CA may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to look into before you make a decision 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 healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Cottonwood CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cottonwood CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide 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 guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Cottonwood CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Cottonwood CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential 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 cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Cottonwood CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 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 an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Cottonwood 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 schools you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Cottonwood CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially 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 a working relationship with Cottonwood CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Cottonwood CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cottonwood CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cottonwood 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.
Cottonwood is a census-designated place (CDP) in Shasta County, California, United States. The population was 3,316 at the 2010 census, up from 2,960 at the 2000 census. Cottonwood was a stagecoach town where a settlement was established in 1849. The first Post Office was opened in 1852. Cottonwood is equidistant between Redding and Red Bluff, 15 miles (24 km) in either direction. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Anderson.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Cottonwood had a population of 3,316. The population density was 1,433.0 people per square mile (553.3/km²). The racial makeup of Cottonwood was 2,844 (85.8%) White, 4 (0.1%) African American, 99 (3.0%) Native American, 108 (3.3%) Asian, 2 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 120 (3.6%) from other races, and 139 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 352 persons (10.6%).
There were 1,200 households, out of which 500 (41.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 591 (49.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 200 (16.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 102 (8.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. 240 households (20.0%) were made up of individuals and 80 (6.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76. There were 893 families (74.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.14.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Cottonwood CA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cottonwood CA.
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