How to Select a Nursing School in La Quinta California
Choosing the right nursing college near La Quinta CA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover 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 most extensive occupation in the La Quinta CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties 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
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in La Quinta CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in La Quinta CA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in La Quinta CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in La Quinta CA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike 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 La Quinta CA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges 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 part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your La Quinta CA home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to La Quinta CA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near La Quinta CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the La Quinta CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional La Quinta 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 programs you are considering 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 superb reputation within the La Quinta CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all La Quinta CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask 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 School near La Quinta CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in La Quinta CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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