How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Mammoth Lakes California
Selecting the best nursing school near Mammoth Lakes CA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Mammoth Lakes CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Mammoth Lakes CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Mammoth Lakes CA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Mammoth Lakes CA 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mammoth Lakes CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees that the syllabus 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mammoth Lakes CA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make sure 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Mammoth Lakes CA home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines 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 essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Mammoth Lakes CA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. 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 selection 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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Mammoth Lakes CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 Mammoth Lakes CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Mammoth Lakes 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Mammoth Lakes CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Mammoth Lakes CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Mammoth Lakes CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mammoth Lakes CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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