How to Pick a Nursing College near Acton California
Selecting the best nursing program near Acton CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing college. There are many key additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Acton CA medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. 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 to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Acton CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at California 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 might wish 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Acton CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Acton CA area and throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Acton CA, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. 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 speak with some Acton CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Acton CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Acton CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Acton CA?
Acton is a small residential community located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. It is off the Antelope Valley Freeway (Highway 14) near Palmdale. Acton is roughly 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the San Fernando Valley and 47 miles (76 km) north of downtown Los Angeles. The town has a rural western theme which can be seen in its homes, commercial buildings, and historical buildings (some of which date back to the late 1800s). The homes in the mountains around Acton have great views of the valley below. In the valley are ranch style homes, often with equestrian facilities. While Acton is not a part of the Antelope Valley, it is grouped together with the "AV" in the General Plan. Acton has a Metrolink commuter rail station on its border with Palmdale that is themed in an "old western" style and has been seen in various movies and commercials.
Acton was founded in 1887 by gold miners who were working in the Red Rover Mine. It was named after Acton, Massachusetts by one of the miners. Two of the best-known gold mines located in Acton were the Red Rover mine and the Governor mine. Mining of gold, copper, and titanium ore continued into the early 1900s. The town originally had served as a railroad camp from 1873 to 1876 when the Saugus-Mojave section of the Southern Pacific Railroad was under construction.
Acton was once considered for the State capital of California. California Governor Henry T. Gage (1899–1903) owned the Governor Mine, hence the name, and sought to relocate the capital to Acton. This effort ultimately failed and the capital was not moved from Sacramento. In the late 1880s, Acton started to become more of a ranching and farming community. In 1889, Acton's first hotel and its first saloon, the 49er was opened, and it is still open for business today.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Acton CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Acton CA.
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