How to Select a Nursing College near Chicago Park California
Selecting the right nursing school near Chicago Park CA may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing college. There are many essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Chicago Park CA medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Chicago Park CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive 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 number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Chicago Park CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Chicago Park CA area and throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Chicago Park CA, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Chicago Park 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 considering 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chicago Park CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Chicago Park CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Chicago Park CA?
Lincoln Park is a 1,208-acre (489-hectare) park along the lakefront of Chicago, Illinois' North Side, facing Lake Michigan. It is Chicago's largest public park. Named after Abraham Lincoln, it stretches for seven miles (11 km) from Grand Avenue (500 N) on the south to near Ardmore Avenue (5800 N) on the north, just north of the Lake Shore Drive terminus at Hollywood Avenue. Several museums and a zoo are located between North Avenue (1600 N) and Diversey Parkway (2800 N) in the neighborhood that takes its name from the park, Lincoln Park. The park further to the north is characterized by parkland, beaches, recreational areas, nature reserves, and harbors. To the south, there is a more narrow strip of beaches east of Lake Shore Drive, almost to downtown. With 20 million visitors a year, Lincoln Park is the second-most-visited park in the United States.
The park's recreational facilities include baseball/softball fields, basketball courts, soccer/football fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, field houses, a target archery field, skate park, driving range and golf course. The park also includes a number of harbors with boating facilities, as well as public beaches. There are landscaped gardens, public art, bird refuges, a zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Chicago History Museum, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, and a theater on the lake with regular outdoor performances during the summer.
In 1860, Lake Park (earlier, Cemetery Park), the precursor of today's park, was established by the city on the lands just to the north of the city's burial ground. Five years later, on June 12, 1865, the park was renamed to honor the recently assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Chicago Park CA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Chicago Park CA.
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