How to Choose a Nursing College near Big Bend California
Finding the right nursing school near Big Bend CA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing college. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Big Bend CA medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Big Bend 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 medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Big Bend CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of 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 economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very 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.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Big Bend CA area and throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Big Bend CA, which are oftentimes not provided 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) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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 also. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Big Bend 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 programs 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 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 Big Bend CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Big Bend CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Big Bend CA?
Big Bend, California
For several thousand years prior to the 19th century, Big Bend was the heart of the territory of the Madhesi tribe (pronounced Mah-day-see) tribe (or "band") of Pit River Native Americans. The Madesi is one of nine bands (also called "tribelets") that spoke the Achomawi language. (Early anthropologists mistakenly called all nine bands in the language group "Achomawi," although only one of the bands was actually called Achomawi.)
The Madesi band's territorial region included Big Bend and the surrounding area of the Lower Pit River (Ah-choo'-mah in the Madesi dialect, which has few or no speakers still living), and several of its tributaries, such as Kosk Creek (An-noo-che'che) and Nelson Creek (Ah-lis'choo'-chah). The main village of the Madesi was on the north bank of the Pit River, east of Kosk Creek, and was called Mah-dess', or Mah-dess' Atjwam (Madesi Valley), and was directly across the river from the smaller villages that surrounded the hot springs on the river's south bank, which were called Oo-le'-moo-me, Lah'-lah-pis'-mah, and Al-loo-satch-ha.
The Big Bend area is so remote and isolated that the Madesi was one of the last indigenous peoples of California to be invaded and pushed out of their ancestral homeland. Until the 1850s, the valley where Big Bend sits (now commonly called the "Madesi Valley") was relatively unknown to Euro-Americans, and rarely visited by outsiders. By 1860, however, USA military forces of the Pitt River Expeditions and white settlers had killed or captured and relocated most Indians in the entire Pit River region.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Big Bend CA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Big Bend CA.
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