How to Choose an Accredited RN Degree Program near Riverside California
Locating the right nursing college near Riverside CA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate 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 ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.
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There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Riverside CA area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an integral component of a Riverside CA medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work settings, such as nursing homes, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Riverside CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many Riverside 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 can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Riverside CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Riverside CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Riverside 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 colleges you are considering 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 favorable reputation within the Riverside CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Riverside CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Top RN Degrees Riverside California
Deciding on the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Top RN Degrees and wanting more information on the topic Affordable Nursing Degree Programs.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Riverside CA.
More California Nursing Locations
Riverside is a city in, and the county seat of, Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Inland Empire metropolitan area. It is named for its location beside the Santa Ana River. It is the most populous city in the Inland Empire and in Riverside County, and is located about 55 miles (89 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. It is also part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Riverside is the 59th most populous city in the United States and 12th most populous city in California. As of the 2010 Census, Riverside had a population of 303,871.
Riverside was founded in the early 1870s. It is the birthplace of the California citrus industry and home of the Mission Inn, the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States. It is also home to the Riverside National Cemetery.
The University of California, Riverside, is located in the northeastern part of the city. The university also hosts the Riverside Sports Complex. Other attractions in Riverside include the Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which houses exhibits and artifacts of local history, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic Park, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, the last of the two original navel orange trees in California.
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