How to Find the Best RN Course near Antelope CA
Locating the right nursing school near Antelope CA may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you don't know 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 proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Antelope CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Antelope California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at California 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Antelope CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Antelope CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in California for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides 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. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Antelope 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Antelope CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Antelope CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Antelope CA Nursing School
Choosing the right nursing college is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when picking a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Antelope CA.