Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Montrose CA

How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Montrose California

Montrose CA pediatric nurse holding babyLocating the best nursing program near Montrose CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Montrose CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Montrose CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Montrose CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Courses

Montrose CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Montrose CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 have 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 that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

Online Nursing Classes

female student attending nursing school online in Montrose CAAttending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Montrose CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Schools

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Montrose CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost 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 before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Montrose CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Montrose 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Montrose CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Montrose CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Montrose CA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Montrose 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.

La Crescenta-Montrose, California

La Crescenta-Montrose is an unincorporated area in Los Angeles County, California. The community bordered by Glendale to the south and west, La Cañada Flintridge to the east, and Angeles National Forest to the north.[2] According to the United States Census Bureau, the La Crescenta-Montrose CDP measures about 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), and the population was 19,653 at the 2010 census, up from 18,532 in the 2000 census.

La Crescenta-Montrose is bordered on the north by the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest, on the east by La Cañada Flintridge, on the south by the Verdugo Mountains and central Glendale, and the northwest by the Sunland-Tujunga community of Los Angeles. The Foothill Freeway (I-210) runs through the southern portion of the area.

The 2010 United States Census[4] reported that La Crescenta-Montrose had a population of 19,653. The population density was 5,717.8 people per square mile (2,207.7/km2). The racial makeup of La Crescenta-Montrose was 12,807 (65.2%) White (57.9% Non-Hispanic White),[5] 142 (0.7%) African American, 70 (0.4%) Native American, 5,375 (27.3%) Asian, 12 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 533 (2.7%) from other races, and 714 (3.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,232 persons (11.4%).

Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Montrose CA

Montrose CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyChoosing the right nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Montrose CA.

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