Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Mt Baldy CA

How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Mt Baldy California

Mt Baldy CA pediatric nurse holding babyFinding the right nursing college near Mt Baldy CA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Mt Baldy CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Mt Baldy CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher 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, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There is more than one degree option available 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 just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Mt Baldy CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

Mt Baldy CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Mt Baldy CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. 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.

Nursing Online Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Mt Baldy CAEnrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Mt Baldy CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Mt Baldy CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Mt Baldy CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Mt Baldy 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mt Baldy CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain 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 Mt Baldy CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Mt Baldy CA?

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

Mount San Antonio

Mount San Antonio, colloquially referred to as Mount Baldy, is the highest peak of the San Gabriel Mountains, and the highest point in Los Angeles County, California.[4] The peak is within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and Angeles National Forest. It is the tallest mountain in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

The peak is pyramid shaped, with a steep south face (Baldy Bowl) and a shallower north face. The summit is accessible via a number of connecting ridges along hiking trails from the north, east, south and southwest.

The mountain was named by a local rancher after Saint Anthony of Padua. When American settlers arrived and surveyed the land, "Baldy," a reference to the bare fell-field of Baldy Bowl that dominates the south face visible from Los Angeles, became the predominant name, and it has stuck. Nonetheless, "Mount San Antonio" is the official name according to the GNIS, and is still used by a number of institutions (e.g. Mount San Antonio College).

Choose the Right Nursing College near Mt Baldy CA

Mt Baldy CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babySelecting the right nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Mt Baldy CA.

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