How to Select a Nursing College near Madera California
Finding the right nursing college near Madera CA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Madera CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care 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
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Madera CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Madera CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Madera CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points 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 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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Madera CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 specified 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 a top-notch education, but also prepares 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Madera 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Madera CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Madera CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Madera CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Madera CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Madera 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.
Located in the San Joaquin Valley, Madera is a principal city of the Madera–Chowchilla Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Madera County, and Metropolitan Fresno. It is located in California's San Joaquin Valley. The city is also home to the Madera Unified School District.
Madera is located at 36°57′41″N 120°03′39″W / 36.96139°N 120.06083°W / 36.96139; -120.06083. The geographic center of California is 38 mi (61 km) east of Madera. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.8 square miles (41 km2), all land.
Madera has a hot semi-arid climate. Average January temperatures are a maximum of 53.9 °F or 12.2 °C and a minimum of 35.9 °F or 2.2 °C. Average July temperatures are a maximum of 98.3 °F or 36.8 °C and a minimum of 61.4 °F or 16.3 °C. Annually, there are an average of 105.2 afternoons with highs of 90 °F or 32.2 °C or higher, 25 afternoons reaching or exceeding 100 °F or 37.8 °C, and an average of 30.8 mornings with lows of 32 °F or 0 °C or lower. The record high temperature was 116 °F (46.7 °C) on July 13, 1961. The record low temperature was 15 °F (−9.4 °C) on January 10, 1949.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Madera CA
Choosing the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Madera CA.
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