How to Select the Right RN College near Adelanto CA
Choosing the right nursing college near Adelanto CA may feel like a challenging project, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Adelanto CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Adelanto California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Adelanto CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Become a Nurse?Nurses are an indispensable component of a Adelanto CA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses provide personal patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Adelanto CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in California for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Adelanto 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Adelanto CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Adelanto CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Adelanto CA Nursing School
Picking the right nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using 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 practicing nurse in Adelanto CA.