How to Pick a Nursing School near Palm Desert California
Searching for the best nursing program near Palm Desert CA may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Palm Desert CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Palm Desert CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Palm Desert CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many Palm Desert CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Palm Desert CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Palm Desert CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Palm Desert 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 Palm Desert CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Palm Desert CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Palm Desert CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Palm Desert 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.
Palm Desert, California
Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs, 121 miles (194 km) northeast of San Diego and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000. A major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern United States, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers", mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for both affordable and high-valued home prices.
The area was first known as the Old MacDonald Ranch, but the name changed to Palm Village in the 1920s when date palms were planted. Local historians said the main residents of pre-1950 Palm Desert were Cahuilla Indian farmers of the now extinct San Cayetano tribe, but a few members of the Montoya family of Cahuilla/Spanish descent were prominent leaders in civic life.
The first residential development occurred in 1943 in connection with an Army maintenance camp in the area. That site was later developed into "El Paseo", an upscale shopping district not unlike Rodeo Drive. In 1948, the Palm Desert Corporation began to develop real estate, and in 1951 the area was given its present name.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Palm Desert CA
Deciding on the right nursing program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Palm Desert CA.
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