How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Hacienda Heights California
Searching for the right nursing school near Hacienda Heights CA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to look into before you determine 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 choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Hacienda Heights CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hacienda Heights 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 medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Hacienda Heights 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 have 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 minimum period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Hacienda Heights CA or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly 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 ultimate choice, 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Hacienda Heights CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Hacienda Heights 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Hacienda Heights CA medical 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 environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Hacienda Heights CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed 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 free time to attend college for many Hacienda Heights CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Hacienda Heights CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Hacienda Heights 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.
Hacienda Heights, California
Hacienda Heights is an unincorporated suburban community and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the community had a total population of 54,038, up from 53,122 at the 2000 census. Hacienda Heights is the second largest census designated place in Los Angeles County by area and the county's largest CDP by population.
During Spanish rule, Hacienda Heights was a part of Rancho La Puente, which was operated by the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in San Gabriel. The Rancho was eventually acquired by John A. Rowland and William Workman in 1845 via a Mexican land grant, and eventually acquired by Elias "Lucky" Baldwin. In 1912, his descendant, Anita Baldwin, sold the property to Edwin Hart and Jet Torrance. The pair subdivided the area and named it North Whittier Heights, which became known for avocado, citrus and walnut orchards, in 1913. However, from the Great Depression era to the early 1940s, citrus growing became unprofitable because of pests and diseases, setting the impetus for the area's transformation into a suburb.
Originally an agricultural town, beginning in the 1940s and accelerating in the 1950s, suburban residential development, which occurred southward (beginning on subdivisions near Kwis Avenue), transformed Hacienda Heights into a residential or bedroom community. In 1961, the Hacienda Heights Branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library opened. The following year, in 1961, the area was renamed Hacienda Heights. In 1964, the local newspaper, the Hacienda Heights Highlander, was established.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Hacienda Heights CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hacienda Heights CA.
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