How to Choose a Nursing School near Highland California
Choosing the best nursing program near Highland CA may seem like a challenging endeavor, 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 must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Highland CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic 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 specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Highland CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 typically 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 attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Highland CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Highland CA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Highland CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. 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 Highland 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Highland CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Highland CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Highland CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Highland CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Highland 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.
Highland is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population in 2010 (US Census) was 53,104, up from 44,605 at the 2000 census. The term Highland also refers to a geographical area of the city of San Bernardino (generally east of Del Rosa Avenue to the eastern city limits), and parts of unincorporated San Bernardino County. Highland is generally divided into two regions, East Highland and Highland (Generally considered west of the 210, with the majority of inhabitants living east of the freeway.)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.9 square miles (48.9 km²). 18.8 square miles (48.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.71%) is water.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Highland had a population of 53,104. The population density was 2,811.3 people per square mile (1,085.4/km²). The racial makeup of Highland was 27,836 (52.4%) White (30.8% Non-Hispanic White), 5,887 (11.1%) African American, 542 (1.0%) Native American, 3,954 (7.4%) Asian, 168 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 11,826 (22.3%) from other races, and 2,891 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,556 persons (48.1%).
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Highland CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Highland CA.
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