How to Choose a Nursing School near Apple Valley California
Locating the right nursing program near Apple Valley CA may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Apple Valley CA medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Apple Valley CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many Apple Valley CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Apple Valley CA area and throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Apple Valley CA, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Apple Valley CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 Apple Valley CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Apple Valley CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Apple Valley CA?
Apple Valley, California
The Town of Apple Valley is located in the Victor Valley of San Bernardino County, in the U.S. state of California. It was incorporated on November 14, 1988, and is one of the twenty-two incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city." The town is east of and adjoining to the neighboring cities of Victorville and Hesperia, 37 miles (60 km) south of Barstow and 46 miles (74 km) north of San Bernardino through the Cajon Pass. The population was 69,135 at the 2010 census.
Apple Valley was home to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose museum was first established in Apple Valley (in 1967) before the museum was relocated to Victorville in 1976. Since 2003, the museum has been in Branson, Missouri. The move was made in hopes of reaching more fans; however, the museum closed for financial reasons on December 12, 2009.
Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. It is bordered by the cities of Victorville on the west and Hesperia on the southwest sides, with the Census-Designated Place of Lucerne Valley a distance to the east and the city of Barstow c. 30 miles to the north. Apple Valley, in combination with Victorville, Hesperia, Adelanto and immediate surrounding areas, are commonly known as the Victor Valley. The primary thoroughfare through Apple Valley is State Route 18, which was given the moniker "Happy Trails Highway" within Apple Valley town limits, after the theme song of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who once resided on Outer Highway 18. The commercial area is split currently between State Route 18 and Bear Valley Road (the two roads are near parallel until they intersect in the east, outside of town). The Mojave River that borders the west side of Apple Valley, is one of only a handful of rivers in the world to flow magnetic north. The town is bounded on its southern edge by the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Apple Valley CA
Picking the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Apple Valley CA.
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