How to Pick a Nursing College in Calpella California
Selecting the best nursing school near Calpella CA may seem like a difficult undertaking, 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 acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Calpella CA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Calpella CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Calpella CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive 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 want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Calpella CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Calpella CA. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Calpella CA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Calpella CA home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 obligations 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 Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Calpella CA and 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Calpella CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Calpella CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Calpella 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Calpella CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Calpella CA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Calpella CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Calpella CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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