Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Riverbank CA

How to Select a Nursing College near Riverbank California

Riverbank CA pediatric nurse holding babyFinding the best nursing program near Riverbank CA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Riverbank CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Riverbank CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Riverbank CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically 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 might 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Courses

Riverbank CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants 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 earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Riverbank 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 obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with 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 Riverbank CAEnrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for 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 method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Riverbank CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments 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 active schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Riverbank CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Riverbank CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding 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 services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Riverbank 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Riverbank CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Riverbank CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Riverbank CA?

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

Riverbank, California

Riverbank is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States. The population was 22,678 at the 2010 census, up from 15,826 at the 2000 census. Incorporated on August 23, 1922, Riverbank's official slogan is "The City of Action." It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Riverbank was founded as a ferry crossing, and was established as a town with the coming of the Santa Fe Railroad. The town holds a Cheese & Wine Exposition each October. It is named for its location on the Stanislaus River.[4]

In the 1850s, the Riverbank area was known as Burneyville. Major James Burney, sheriff of Mariposa, established the Burneyville Ferry over the Stanislaus River at the site of the modern bridge in Riverbank.[5]

Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Riverbank CA

Riverbank CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyDeciding on the right nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you should 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 emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Riverbank CA.

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