How to Select a Nursing Program in Foothill Ranch California
Finding the best nursing program near Foothill Ranch CA may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Foothill Ranch CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Foothill Ranch CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Foothill Ranch CA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Foothill Ranch CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Foothill Ranch CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Foothill Ranch CA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimal period of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Foothill Ranch CA home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Foothill Ranch CA along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Foothill Ranch 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Foothill Ranch CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check 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 also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Foothill Ranch 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 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 good reputation within the Foothill Ranch CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Foothill Ranch CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Foothill Ranch CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Foothill Ranch CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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