How to Pick a Nursing School in Fortuna California
Selecting the best nursing program near Fortuna CA may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Fortuna CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, 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 exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Fortuna CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Fortuna 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It readies 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 later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Fortuna CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Fortuna CA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Fortuna CA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the education 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Fortuna CA home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Fortuna CA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Fortuna CA.
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) together with 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 Fortuna CA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Fortuna 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 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 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 favorable reputation within the Fortuna CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Fortuna CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Fortuna CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 practicing RN in Fortuna CA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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