How to Choose a Nursing College near Needles California
Locating the right nursing school near Needles CA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Needles CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Needles CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 course of study 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 education can be received at Needles CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Needles CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Needles CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online 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. 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 Needles 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Needles CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Needles CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Needles CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Needles CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Needles 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.
Needles (Mojave: ʼAha Kuloh) is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. It lies on the western banks of the Colorado River in the Mohave Valley subregion of the Mojave Desert, near the borders of Arizona and Nevada and roughly 110 miles (180 km) from the Las Vegas Strip. It is the easternmost city of the San Bernardino Metropolitan area, and is geographically isolated from other cities in the area. The city is accessible via Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 95. The population was 4,844 at the 2010 census, up from 4,830 at the 2000 census.
Needles was named after "The Needles", a group of pinnacles, mountain peaks in the Mohave Mountains on the Arizona side of the river to the south of the city. The large Mohave Native American community shares the nearby Fort Mojave Indian Reservation and the town. Needles is a gateway to the Mojave National Preserve.
The Mohave, one of the traditional Colorado River Indian Tribes, are Native Americans that have been living in the Mojave Valley area for thousands of years prior to the European exploration of the area. In the Mohave language, they call themselves the ʼAha Makhav. Their name comes from two words: ʼaha, meaning "river", and makhav, meaning "along" or "beside", and to them it means "people who live along the river". These people traded with the tribes of coastal Southern California following the Mohave Trail. The Franciscan missionary Francisco Garcés, was the first European to visit the Mohave people and travel on the trail and report on the route in 1776. From 1829 to 1848, part of this trail became a part of the route of the Old Spanish Trail between New Mexico and Southern California.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Needles CA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Needles CA.
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