How to Find the Right Nursing School in La Verne California
Choosing the best nursing program near La Verne CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the La Verne CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in La Verne CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in La Verne CA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn 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 brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in La Verne CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in La Verne CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the La Verne CA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 amount of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your La Verne CA home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to La Verne CA as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near La Verne 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the La Verne CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy 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 all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby La Verne 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 complete 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 superb reputation within the La Verne CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all La Verne CA area nursing degree programs require a certain 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 associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near La Verne CA
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in La Verne CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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