RN Nursing Programs in Mission Viejo CA 92690

How to Choose a Nursing Program in Mission Viejo California

Mission Viejo CA Registered NurseSelecting the right nursing program near Mission Viejo CA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over 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 Functions

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Mission Viejo CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Mission Viejo CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Mission Viejo CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 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.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Mission Viejo CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) in order to become licensed. Further 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 Programs

RN assisting surgeon in Mission Viejo CAThere are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mission Viejo CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mission Viejo CA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to 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.

Online Nursing Degrees

attending nursing school online in Mission Viejo CAAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Mission Viejo CA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Mission Viejo CA along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Mission Viejo 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Mission Viejo CA area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. 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 nearby Mission Viejo 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Mission Viejo CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Mission Viejo CA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Select the Right RN Degree near Mission Viejo CA

Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mission Viejo CA.

Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?

When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.

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