How to Select a Nursing School near Dos Palos California
Selecting the best nursing program near Dos Palos CA may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to investigate before you decide 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, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Dos Palos CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular 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
- Managing care
- Managing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 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 acquire 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 short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dos Palos CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Dos Palos CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Dos Palos CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly 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 prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Dos Palos CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 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. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Dos Palos 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dos Palos CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Dos Palos CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Dos Palos CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Dos Palos CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dos Palos 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.
Dos Palos, California
Dos Palos (formerly, Colony Center) is a city in Merced County, California, United States. Dos Palos is located 23 miles (37 km) south-southwest of Merced, at an elevation of 118 feet (36 m). The population was 4,950 at the 2010 census, up from 4,581 at the 2000 census.
In one of his expeditions (1820's) along the westside of the San Joaquin Valley, explorer Gabriel Moraga reported the location of two large isolated poplar trees, which he called "Dos Palos." In 19th Century Spanish usage, "palos" was used to describe tall pole-like trees or "timbers". 21st century usage often translates it as "sticks." The "Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita" Mexican Land Grant cites "Los Dos Palos" or "The Two Trees" as a boundary marker. In 1891, former school superintendent Bernhard Marks convinced cattle ranch king Henry Miller to develop a small town nearby. They gave it the name "Dos Palos Colony" but pronounced it with their Alsatian German accent as "Dahce Palace." This pronunciation remained for over one hundred years until a recent Spanish pronunciation revival. Marks brought forty pioneer families west from Iowa and Nebraska to establish the community. In 1892, unable to find good water, many of the settlers left. Marks convinced Miller to establish another town two miles away on land unsuitable for farming and ranching due to swamps and unsettling soils. Some of the settlers relocated. This new town was named Colony Center, California. In 1906, Dos Palos Colony was renamed South Dos Palos and Colony Center was renamed Dos Palos. The Post Office was briefly misspelled as one word, "Dospalos" but this was changed within a year. About a dozen of the colony's original families still reside locally. Through the years, people from many other locations joined the community. Dos Palos incorporated in 1935.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Dos Palos had a population of 4,950. The population density was 3,667.3 people per square mile (1,416.0/km²). The racial makeup of Dos Palos was 3,377 (68.2%) White, 167 (3.4%) African American, 62 (1.3%) Native American, 37 (0.7%) Asian, 4 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,075 (21.7%) from other races, and 228 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,075 persons (62.1%).
Select the Right Nursing School near Dos Palos CA
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Dos Palos CA.
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