How to Choose a Nursing Program near Modesto California
Locating the best nursing school near Modesto CA may seem like a complex project, especially 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 must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Modesto CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 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 Modesto CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 might desire 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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 credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive 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 in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Modesto CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 certain that the training 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Modesto CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Modesto CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Modesto 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Modesto CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Modesto CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Modesto CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Modesto CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Modesto 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.
Modesto /məˈdɛstoʊ/ (Spanish for "modest"), officially the City of Modesto, is the county seat and largest city of Stanislaus County, California, United States. With a population of approximately 201,165 at the 2010 census, it is the 18th largest city in the state of California and forms part of the Modesto–Merced combined Statistical Area. The Modesto Census County Division, which includes the cities of Ceres and Riverbank, had a population of 312,842 as of 2010[update].
Modesto is located in the Central Valley, 90 miles (140 km) north of Fresno, 40 miles (64 km) north of Merced, California, 92 miles (148 km) east of San Francisco, 68 miles (109 km) south of the state capital of Sacramento, 66 miles (106 km) west of Yosemite National Park, and 24 miles (39 km) south of Stockton. Modesto has been honored as a Tree City USA numerous times. It is surrounded by rich farmland; Stanislaus County ranks sixth among California counties in farm production. Led by milk, almonds, chickens, walnuts, and corn silage, the county grossed nearly $3.1 billion in agricultural production in 2011. The farm-to-table movement plays a central role in Modesto living as in the Central Valley.
Filmmaker George Lucas, who was born in Modesto, graduated from Thomas Downey High School in 1962 and attended Modesto Junior College, immortalized the city in his award-winning 1973 film American Graffiti. Although it was not actually shot in Modesto, the film portrayed the spirit of cruising and friendship on Modesto's 10th and 11th Streets in 1962, and inspired a revival of interest in 1950s pop culture, including the TV show Happy Days and its spin-offs.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Modesto CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Modesto CA.
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