How to Pick a Nursing Program in Lemon Grove California
Searching for the right nursing college near Lemon Grove CA may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Lemon Grove CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Lemon Grove CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Lemon Grove CA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lemon Grove CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lemon Grove CA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lemon Grove CA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training course is state approved. 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Lemon Grove CA home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward 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 selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Lemon Grove CA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Lemon Grove 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lemon Grove CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Lemon Grove 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 colleges 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Lemon Grove CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Lemon Grove CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Lemon Grove CA
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lemon Grove CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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