How to Pick a Nursing School near La Puente California
Selecting the best nursing program near La Puente CA may seem like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely La Puente CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing 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 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the La Puente CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 wish to progress 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 attests 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at La Puente CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near La Puente CA or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in La Puente CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some La Puente 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 looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the La Puente CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with La Puente CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some La Puente CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near La Puente CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater La Puente 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 Puente, California
The original inhabitants of the area now occupied by the city of La Puente were the Kizh. They lived in a village called Awingna, which linguists translate as "abiding place." The Awingna chief Matheo (who also held sway over several other nearby villages) was baptized at Mission San Gabriel in 1774.
In 1769, the Spanish Portolá expedition became the first Europeans to see inland portions of Alta California. On July 30, the party camped on the east side of the San Gabriel River, in today's unincorporated area of Bassett. Father Juan Crespi wrote in his diary that, the next day, they had to build a bridge (Spanish "puente") to cross the miry San Gabriel River.
With the establishment of Mission San Gabriel, the area encompassing Awingna and what is now the city of La Puente became part of Rancho La Puente, established as a mission outpost and ranch. The rancho was visited by the Jedediah Smith party in November 1826, the first Americans to travel overland to California.
Select the Right Nursing College near La Puente CA
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in La Puente CA.
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