How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Palm Desert California
Searching for the best nursing college near Palm Desert CA may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Palm Desert CA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing 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 complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Palm Desert CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Palm Desert CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Palm Desert CA or concentrate 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. 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 mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Palm Desert CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Palm Desert CA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in California. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Palm Desert CA home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected 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 choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Palm Desert CA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Palm Desert CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 important that the Palm Desert CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Palm Desert 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 colleges 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Palm Desert CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Palm Desert CA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Palm Desert CA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Palm Desert CA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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