How to Pick a Nursing College near La Mirada California
Searching for the right nursing program near La Mirada CA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including La Mirada CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available 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 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the La Mirada CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at La Mirada CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near La Mirada CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in La Mirada CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 contact some La Mirada CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the La Mirada CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with La Mirada CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some La Mirada CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near La Mirada CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater La Mirada 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 Mirada, California
La Mirada is a city in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is one of the Gateway Cities. The population was 48,527 at the 2010 census, up from 46,783 at the 2000 census. In 2006, the city of La Mirada was listed on CNN Money Magazine's "Best Place to Live" list. La Mirada placed 34th on the list, with the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center as two of its main attributes. It is also the home of Biola University, an evangelical Christian institution of higher education.
La Mirada (Spanish for the look) was the creation of two men, Andrew McNally, a printer and mapmaker from Chicago (see Rand McNally) and his son-in-law Edwin Neff. In 1888, McNally purchased over 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of Rancho Los Coyotes, south of Whittier, for $200,000. He developed 700 acres (2.8 km2) into his own home called Windermere Ranch and surrounded it with olive, orange and lemon groves. McNally built a plant to process the olive oil, which was of the best quality, as well as a railroad station on Stage Road. From here his olive oil and fruit were shipped all over the U.S.
In 1896, McNally turned his property over to his daughter and his son in law. McNally and Neff formed the La Mirada Land Company, which published a booklet entitled "The Country Gentleman in California", advertising parcels of land for sale including pictures, a map and descriptions of the scenic olive, alfalfa, lemon and grapefruit groves.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near La Mirada CA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in La Mirada CA.
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