How to Choose a Nursing School near Lake Hughes California
Searching for the right nursing program near Lake Hughes CA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program 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 nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Lake Hughes CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lake Hughes CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Lake Hughes CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check 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 Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Lake Hughes CA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly 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 so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Lake Hughes 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Lake Hughes 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake Hughes CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Lake Hughes CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Lake Hughes CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lake Hughes CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lake Hughes 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.
Lake Hughes, California
Lake Hughes is an unincorporated community in the foothills of the Sierra Pelona Mountains, northwest of Palmdale and north of the Santa Clarita Valley, in the Angeles National Forest. It is on the sag pond waters of Lake Hughes and Elizabeth Lake. The community is rural in character, with a population of 649 in 2010, but also has a strong recreational element centered on the three lakes in the vicinity. The community of Elizabeth Lake is located just east of Lake Hughes, sharing the same ZIP code.
Nearby Elizabeth Lake, known then as La Laguna de Chico Lopez, was a watering locale on Spanish colonial and Mexican El Camino Viejo in Alta California and the Gold Rush era Stockton – Los Angeles Road. From 1858 to 1861, Lake Hughes was on the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail, between the Widow Smith's Station and Mud Spring stage stops. The lake area was to the west of Rancho La Liebre, an 1846 Mexican land grant now part of Tejon Ranch.
Lake Hughes was named for Judge Griffith (Patrick) Hughes, who homesteaded the area around the turn of the 20th century. Settlers were drawn to the area because water was more plentiful than in the drier Antelope Valley.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Lake Hughes CA
Choosing the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lake Hughes CA.
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