How to Pick a Nursing College near Gustine California
Locating the best nursing college near Gustine CA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Gustine CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing 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 typically 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Gustine 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 centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Gustine CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 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 every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Gustine CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Gustine 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Gustine CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering 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 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 good reputation within the Gustine CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Gustine CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Gustine CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Gustine CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Gustine 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.
Gustine is a city in Merced County, California, United States. Gustine is located 29 miles (47 km) west of Merced, at an elevation of 98 feet (30 m). As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 5,520, up from 4,698 at the 2000 census.
Gustine is located in the San Joaquin Valley at 37°15′28″N 120°59′56″W / 37.25778°N 120.99889°W / 37.25778; -120.99889, the intersection of State Route 33 and State Route 140, near the intersection of Interstate 5 and State Route 140.
This region experiences hot and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Gustine has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Gustine CA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Gustine CA.
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