How to Find the Right Nursing College in Camp Pendleton California
Choosing the best nursing college near Camp Pendleton CA may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Camp Pendleton CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Camp Pendleton CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Camp Pendleton CA. And 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 advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 may 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Camp Pendleton CA or focus 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Camp Pendleton CA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Camp Pendleton CA area. The length of the training program 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 have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in California. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Camp Pendleton CA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Camp Pendleton CA and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Camp Pendleton CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Camp Pendleton CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Camp Pendleton 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Camp Pendleton CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Camp Pendleton CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Camp Pendleton CA
Picking the right registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Camp Pendleton CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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