How to Choose a Nursing School near Los Molinos California
Finding the right nursing college near Los Molinos CA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure 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 receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Los Molinos CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered 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 as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Los Molinos 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 job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 four 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 may 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Los Molinos CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Los Molinos CA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt 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 workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Los Molinos CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Los Molinos CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 Los Molinos CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Los Molinos CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually 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 option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Los Molinos CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Los Molinos CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Los Molinos 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.
Los Molinos, California
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), of which, 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) of it is land and 0.02 square miles (0.052 km2) of it (1.06%) is water.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Los Molinos had a population of 2,037. The population density was 918.6 people per square mile (354.7/km²). The racial makeup of Los Molinos was 1,581 (77.6%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 39 (1.9%) Native American, 7 (0.3%) Asian, 2 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 321 (15.8%) from other races, and 87 (4.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 537 persons (26.4%).
There were 786 households, out of which 242 (30.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 366 (46.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 88 (11.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 43 (5.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 70 (8.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 1 (0.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 232 households (29.5%) were made up of individuals and 120 (15.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55. There were 497 families (63.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.18.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Los Molinos CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Los Molinos CA.
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