How to Find the Right Nursing School in Mount Hamilton California
Selecting the right nursing school in Mount Hamilton CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Mount Hamilton CA. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Mount Hamilton CA with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Mount Hamilton CA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Mount Hamilton CA medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Mount Hamilton CA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Mount Hamilton CA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Mount Hamilton CA 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and 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 likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Mount Hamilton CA to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Mount Hamilton CA healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Mount Hamilton CA and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense 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 before making your ultimate 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in Mount Hamilton CA.
- 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Mount Hamilton CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mount Hamilton CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Mount Hamilton CA clinical setting. Virtually all California nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in Mount Hamilton CA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an RN 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Mount Hamilton CA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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