How to Select a Nursing College in Pleasant Grove California
Locating the best nursing college near Pleasant Grove CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Pleasant Grove CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Pleasant Grove CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Pleasant Grove CA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pleasant Grove CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pleasant Grove CA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage 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 type of credential you pursue, it should 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 effectively 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pleasant Grove CA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates 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 programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Pleasant Grove CA home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Pleasant Grove CA along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Pleasant Grove CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pleasant Grove CA area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Pleasant Grove 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 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 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 good reputation within the Pleasant Grove CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Pleasant Grove CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Pleasant Grove CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pleasant Grove CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in California