How to Select the Best Nursing Training Program near Azusa CA
Finding the best nursing college near Azusa CA may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Azusa CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions 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 high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Azusa California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 progress 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Azusa 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 lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Nurse?Nurses are an important part of a Azusa CA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Azusa CA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in California 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Azusa 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Azusa CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Azusa CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Azusa CA Nursing Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Azusa CA.