How to Find the Right Nursing College near Jackson California
Selecting the right nursing program near Jackson CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Jackson CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Jackson CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 change from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain 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, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Jackson CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Jackson CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Jackson CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a certain 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 an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Jackson 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Jackson CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Jackson CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Jackson CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Jackson CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Jackson 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.
Jackson (formerly, Botilleas, Botilleas Spring, Bottileas, Bottle Spring, and Botellas) is the county seat of Amador County, California. The population was 4,651 at the 2010 census, up from 3,989 at the 2000 census. The city is accessible by both State Route 49 and State Route 88.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), all of it land. Jackson Creek traverses the city. Alluvial soils such as Pardee Cobbly Loam is found throughout the Jackson area.
The area was inhabited by the Northern Sierra Indians, who occupied areas along creeks, spring and seep areas, including permanent and seasonal drainages, flat ridges and terraces. Therefore, areas along watercourses are considered likely locations for prehistoric cultural resources. Permanent villages were usually placed on elevations above seasonal flood levels. Surrounding areas were used for hunting and seed, acorn, and grass gathering.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Jackson CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Jackson CA.
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