How to Select a Nursing School near Three Rivers California
Locating the right nursing school near Three Rivers CA may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look 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 essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Three Rivers CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Three Rivers CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment 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 focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Three Rivers CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out 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 free time to attend college for some Three Rivers CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Three Rivers CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Three Rivers CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit 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. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Three Rivers 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Three Rivers CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Three Rivers CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Three Rivers CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Three Rivers 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.
Three Rivers, California
Three Rivers is an unincorporated community in Tulare County, California, United States. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada at the edge of the San Joaquin Valley, the town is near the entrance to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The town's name comes from its location near the junction of the North, Middle, and South Forks of the Kaweah River.
The population was 2,182 at the 2010 census, down from 2,248 at the 2000 census. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Three Rivers as a census-designated place (CDP). The census definition of the area may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name.
Three Rivers is located in the Kaweah River canyon, just above Lake Kaweah. Surrounding terrain is marked by oak woodland forest and foothills. The Kaweah River drainage is a very short river drainage, and quickly terrain climbs from around 1,000 feet (300 m). ASL in Three Rivers to 3,000-5,000 ft ASL on the surrounding hills, and upward to 14,000+ ft ASL at Mt. Whitney, fifty miles to the East. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 44.5 square miles (115 km2), all land.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Three Rivers CA
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Three Rivers CA.
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