How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near San Gabriel California
Selecting the right nursing program near San Gabriel CA may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as San Gabriel CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the San Gabriel CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at San Gabriel CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many San Gabriel CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near San Gabriel CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in San Gabriel 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) together with 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some San Gabriel 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the San Gabriel CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with San Gabriel CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near San Gabriel CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater San Gabriel 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.
San Gabriel, California
San Gabriel is a city in Los Angeles County, California. It is named after the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel (which in turn was named for Archangel Gabriel), founded by Junípero Serra. The city grew outward from the mission and in 1852 became the original township of Los Angeles County. San Gabriel was incorporated in 1913. The city's motto is "A city with a Mission" and it is often called the "Birthplace" of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. At the 2010 census, the population was 39,718.
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish to Alta California, the area that is now San Gabriel was inhabited by the Tongva Native Americans, whom the Spanish called the Gabrieleño. The Tongva name for the San Gabriel region has been reconstructed as Shevaa.
Today a center for culture and art, the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel (named for Archangel Gabriel), founded by Father Junipero Serra, is the fourth of twenty-one California Missions, and is known as the "Pride of the California Missions."
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near San Gabriel CA
Picking the right nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 San Gabriel CA.
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