How to Pick a Nursing School in San Gabriel California
Searching for the right nursing program near San Gabriel CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the San Gabriel CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in San Gabriel CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in San Gabriel CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at California 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 wish 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in San Gabriel CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in San Gabriel CA. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the San Gabriel CA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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 minimum period of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the education is state certified. In addition to 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 programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your San Gabriel CA home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very 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.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to San Gabriel CA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near San Gabriel CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the San Gabriel CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional San Gabriel 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the San Gabriel CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all San Gabriel CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near San Gabriel CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in San Gabriel CA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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