How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Baldwin Park California
Choosing the right nursing school near Baldwin Park CA may seem like a difficult project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Baldwin Park CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Baldwin Park CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Baldwin Park CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at California 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Baldwin Park CA 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Baldwin Park CA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Baldwin Park CA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training course 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in California. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Baldwin Park CA home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within 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 previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Baldwin Park CA along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Baldwin Park CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Baldwin Park CA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Baldwin Park 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 looking at 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Baldwin Park CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Baldwin Park CA
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Baldwin Park CA.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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