How to Select a Nursing College in Placentia California
Choosing the best nursing school near Placentia CA may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role 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 significant occupation in the Placentia CA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Placentia CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Placentia CA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Placentia CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Placentia CA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 attests that the syllabus 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Placentia CA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Placentia CA home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Placentia CA and the expense 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 only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Placentia CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Placentia CA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Placentia CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 unhappy 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 Placentia CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Placentia CA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Placentia CA
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using 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 RN in Placentia CA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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