Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Sierra Madre CA

How to Choose a Nursing School near Sierra Madre California

Sierra Madre CA pediatric nurse holding babyChoosing the best nursing program near Sierra Madre CA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Sierra Madre CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Sierra Madre CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Sierra Madre CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Courses

Sierra Madre CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.

CNA Courses

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Sierra Madre CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

female student attending nursing school online in Sierra Madre CAEnrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Sierra Madre CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Sierra Madre CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Sierra Madre CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Sierra Madre 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 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 favorable reputation within the Sierra Madre CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Sierra Madre CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Sierra Madre CA?

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

Sierra Madre, California

Sierra Madre is a city in Los Angeles County, California whose population was 10,917 at the 2010 U.S. Census, up from 10,580 at the time of the 2000 U.S. Census. The city is in the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley below the southern edge of the Angeles National Forest. Pasadena and Altadena are to its west, with Arcadia to its south and east. Sierra Madre is known as "Wisteria City", and its city seal is decorated with a drawing of the now widely known 500-foot (150 m) vine.[7] It is also called the "Village of the Foothills" and was an All-America City in 2007.[8]

In approximately 500 CE, Tongva Indians,[9] the native people migrated from the Mojave area to what would become Los Angeles County, (including the San Gabriel Valley). Their name means "People of the Earth". Their primary language was Uto-Aztecan Shoshonean. In the 16th century there were about 25 Tongva villages, with a population of approximately 400 people.[10] By 1769, the first Spanish settlers arrived in the region, finding an estimated 5,000 Tongva living in 31 villages. Sierra Madre was the site of a settlement named Sonayna.[11] Two years later, Mission San Gabriel Arcangel was founded in today's Montebello. The mission was later moved to San Gabriel because of severe flooding from the Rio Hondo River, which ruined their crops. The original mission site is now marked by a California Historical Landmark.[12] Tongvas were integrated into the culture of the mission, and the tribe were renamed Gabrielino Indians by the Spaniards.[10] The first Mount Wilson trail was carved by the Gabrielino Indians which was used by them when they carried timber down from the mountains for the construction of the San Gabriel Mission in 1771.[13]

Using Mexican and Chinese laborers, Benjamin "Don Benito" Wilson expanded the Mount Wilson Trail in 1864.[13] Nathaniel Carter purchased the original 1,103 acres (4.46 km2) that comprise Sierra Madre in 1881: 845 acres (3.42 km2) from "Lucky Baldwin", 108 acres (0.44 km2) from the Southern Pacific Railroad Company; and 150 acres (0.61 km2) from John Richardson (1811-August 9, 1884).[14] In 1888, the Santa Anita railroad station was built.[10] The first of the year brought Pacific Electric Railway Red Car passenger service to Sierra Madre. Later that year the first electric lights were installed by the Edison Electric Company. In December 1906, the first telephones were installed, 250 of them, by the Home Telephone Company of Monrovia.[10] On February 2, 1907, the first citywide election was held and 96 citizens voted 71–25 to officially incorporate Sierra Madre; the population was about 500. Eighteen days later, Sierra Madre became incorporated as a California city. Charles Worthington Jones was the first mayor.[10]

Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Sierra Madre CA

Sierra Madre CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyChoosing the right nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Sierra Madre CA.

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