How to Pick a Nursing School near La Crescenta California
Selecting the right nursing program near La Crescenta CA may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical 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 numerous different medical settings, including La Crescenta CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty 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 area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the La Crescenta CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 might 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 acquiring 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 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 type 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at La Crescenta CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program 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 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 additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near La Crescenta CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in La Crescenta CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some La Crescenta 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the La Crescenta CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with La Crescenta CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted 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 college for some La Crescenta CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly 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 many 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near La Crescenta CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater La Crescenta 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.
La Crescenta-Montrose, California
La Crescenta-Montrose is an unincorporated area in Los Angeles County, California. The community bordered by Glendale to the south and west, La Cañada Flintridge to the east, and Angeles National Forest to the north. According to the United States Census Bureau, the La Crescenta-Montrose CDP measures about 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), and the population was 19,653 at the 2010 census, up from 18,532 in the 2000 census.
La Crescenta-Montrose is bordered on the north by the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest, on the east by La Cañada Flintridge, on the south by the Verdugo Mountains and central Glendale, and the northwest by the Sunland-Tujunga community of Los Angeles. The Foothill Freeway (I-210) runs through the southern portion of the area.
The 2010 United States Census reported that La Crescenta-Montrose had a population of 19,653. The population density was 5,717.8 people per square mile (2,207.7/km2). The racial makeup of La Crescenta-Montrose was 12,807 (65.2%) White (57.9% Non-Hispanic White), 142 (0.7%) African American, 70 (0.4%) Native American, 5,375 (27.3%) Asian, 12 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 533 (2.7%) from other races, and 714 (3.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,232 persons (11.4%).
Choose the Right Nursing School near La Crescenta CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in La Crescenta CA.
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