Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Montclair CA

How to Choose a Nursing College near Montclair California

Montclair CA pediatric nurse holding babyFinding the best nursing school near Montclair CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Montclair CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Montclair CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Montclair CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher 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 colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Programs

Montclair CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Montclair CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

female student attending nursing school online in Montclair CAEnrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Montclair CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Montclair CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Montclair CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Montclair CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Montclair CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Montclair CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Montclair CA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Montclair California area.  If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Montclair, California

The 2010 United States Census[11] reported that Montclair had a population of 36,664. The population density was 6,645.4 people per square mile (2,565.8/kmĀ²). The racial makeup of Montclair was 19,337 (52.7%) White (14.4% Non-Hispanic White),[12] 1,908 (5.2%) African American, 434 (1.2%) Native American, 3,425 (9.3%) Asian, 74 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 9,882 (27.0%) from other races, and 1,604 (4.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,744 persons (70.2%).

There were 9,523 households, out of which 4,954 (52.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,094 (53.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,781 (18.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 901 (9.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 690 (7.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 77 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,240 households (13.0%) were made up of individuals and 524 (5.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.81. There were 7,776 families (81.7% of all households); the average family size was 4.09.

The population was spread out with 10,756 people (29.3%) under the age of 18, 4,300 people (11.7%) aged 18 to 24, 10,694 people (29.2%) aged 25 to 44, 7,831 people (21.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,083 people (8.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

Choose the Right Nursing Program near Montclair CA

Montclair CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyDeciding on the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Montclair CA.

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