Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Newcastle CA

How to Select a Nursing College near Newcastle California

Newcastle CA pediatric nurse holding babyChoosing the best nursing program near Newcastle CA may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Newcastle CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Newcastle CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

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

Nursing Degree Options

There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain 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 descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Newcastle CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 advance 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Programs

Newcastle CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Newcastle CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 training course 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 can be other requirements as well.

Online Nursing Classes

female student attending nursing school online in Newcastle CAEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Newcastle CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. 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. 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 more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Newcastle CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. 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 pick measures up to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Newcastle CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Newcastle 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 favorable reputation within the Newcastle CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Newcastle CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Newcastle CA?

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

Newcastle, California

Newcastle was founded in the 19th century. According to Transcontinental Railroad Landmarks the "Regular freight and passenger trains began operating over the first 31 miles of Central Pacific's line to Newcastle June 10, 1864, when political opposition and lack of money stopped further construction during that mild winter. Construction was resumed in April, 1865." The region is also in the vicinity of what was the cradle of "gold country", where in the mid-19th century a flurry of miners and gold prospectors searched for their fortune. During this time however, the town of Newcastle was known more for its orchards rather than abundant gold mines.

The 2010 United States Census[5] reported that Newcastle had a population of 1,224. The population density was 510.8 people per square mile (197.2/kmĀ²). The racial makeup of Newcastle was 1,113 (90.9%) White, 104 (8.5%) Hispanic or Latino of any race, 19 (1.6%) Native American, 17 (1.4%) Asian, 7 (0.6%) African American, 35 (2.9%) from other races, and 33 (2.7%) were from two or more races.

There were 545 households, out of which 115 (21.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 258 (47.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 42 (7.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 23 (4.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 25 (4.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 2 (0.4%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 186 households (34.1%) were made up of individuals and 117 (21.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23. There were 323 families (59.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.86.

Pick the Right Nursing School near Newcastle CA

Newcastle CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyChoosing the right nursing school is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Newcastle CA.

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