How to Choose a Nursing College near Tollhouse California
Selecting the best nursing school near Tollhouse CA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Tollhouse CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 commonly 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.
There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Tollhouse CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 normally a two year program after attaining 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 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically 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, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 any 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Tollhouse CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 training course 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain 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 practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Tollhouse CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Tollhouse CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Tollhouse CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tollhouse 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Tollhouse CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tollhouse CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Tollhouse CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tollhouse 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.
Tollhouse (formerly, Toll House) is an unincorporated community in Fresno County, California. It lies at an elevation of 1,919 feet (585 m). Tollhouse is located in the Sierra Nevada, 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Shaver Lake. It is home to 2,089 people.
The town was created in the 1860s around a lumber mill. The name "tollhouse" comes from the fact that the community was also built up in connection to a now-defunct toll road running up the steep slopes of Sarver Peak to Pineridge and housed a toll house.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Tollhouse CA
Picking the ideal nursing college is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Tollhouse CA.
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