How to Choose a Nursing College in Fall River Mills California
Choosing the best nursing program near Fall River Mills CA may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Fall River Mills CA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 Fall River Mills CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Fall River Mills CA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- 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 healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Fall River Mills CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Fall River Mills CA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly 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 earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Fall River Mills CA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Fall River Mills CA home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Fall River Mills CA and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Fall River Mills CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Fall River Mills CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps 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 evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Fall River Mills 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Fall River Mills CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Fall River Mills CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Fall River Mills CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Fall River Mills CA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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