How to Pick a Nursing Program near Edwards California
Finding the best nursing program near Edwards CA may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you 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 college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Edwards CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities 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
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Edwards CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively 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 instruction can be acquired at Edwards CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the education 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 may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Edwards CA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Edwards 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Edwards 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 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 displeased 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 Edwards CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Edwards CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many Edwards CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Edwards CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Edwards 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.
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EDW, ICAO: KEDW, FAA LID: EDW) is a United States Air Force installation located in Kern County in southern California, about 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lancaster and 15 miles (24 km) east of Rosamond.
It is the home of the Air Force Test Center, Air Force Test Pilot School, and NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center. It is the Air Force Materiel Command center for conducting and supporting research and development of flight, as well as testing and evaluating aerospace systems from concept to combat. It is also hosts many test activities conducted by America's commercial aerospace industry.
Previously known as Muroc Air Force Base, Edwards AFB is named in honor of Captain Glen Edwards (1918–1948). During World War II, he flew A-20 Havoc light attack bombers in the North African campaign on 50 hazardous, low-level missions against German tanks, convoys, troops, bridges, airfields, and other tactical targets. Edwards became a test pilot in 1943 and spent much of his time at Muroc Army Air Field, on California's high desert, testing wide varieties of experimental prototype aircraft. He died in the crash of a Northrop YB-49 flying wing near Muroc AFB on 5 June 1948.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Edwards CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Edwards CA.
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