How to Select a Nursing Program near Whittier California
Searching for the best nursing program near Whittier CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing school. There are many crucial additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Whittier CA medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment 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. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Whittier CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 may wish to progress 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example 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) so as 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.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Whittier CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Whittier CA area and throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Whittier CA, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Whittier 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Whittier CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Whittier CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Whittier CA?
Whittier (/ˈwɪtiər/) is a city in Southern California located within Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 85,331, reflecting an increase of 1,631 from the 83,680 counted in the 2000 Census, and encompasses 14.7 square miles (38.0 km2). Like nearby Montebello, the city constitutes part of the Gateway Cities. Whittier was incorporated in February 1898 and became a charter city in 1955. The city is named for the poet John Greenleaf Whittier and is home to Whittier College.
Whittier's roots can be traced to Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto. In 1784, Nieto received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), Rancho Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage settlement in California. The area of Nieto's land grant was reduced in 1790 as the result of a dispute with Mission San Gabriel. Nonetheless, Nieto still had claim to 167,000 acres (680 km2) stretching from the hills north of Whittier, Fullerton and Brea, south to the Pacific Ocean, and from what is known today as the Los Angeles River east to the Santa Ana River. Nieto built a rancho for his family near Whittier, and purchased cattle and horses for his ranch and also planted cornfields. When Nieto died in 1804, his children inherited their father's property.
At the time of the Mexican–American War, much of the land that would become Whittier was owned by Pio Pico, a rancher and the last Mexican governor of Alta California Territory. Pio Pico built a hacienda here on the San Gabriel River, known today as Pio Pico State Historic Park. Following the Mexican–American War, German immigrant Jacob F. Gerkens paid $234 to the U.S. government to acquire 160 acres (0.6 km2) of land under the Homestead Act and built the cabin known today as the Jonathan Bailey House. Gerkens would later become the first chief of police of the Los Angeles Police Department. Gerkens' land was owned by several others before a group of Quakers purchased it and expanded it to 1,259 acres (5 km2), with the intent of founding a Quaker community. The area soon became known as a thriving citrus ranching region, with "Quaker Brand" fruit being shipped all over the United States. Later, walnut trees were also planted, and Whittier became the largest walnut grower in the United States. In addition to walnuts and citrus, Whittier was also a major producer of pampas grass.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Whittier CA
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Whittier CA.
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