How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Pleasant Hill California
Finding the right nursing college near Pleasant Hill CA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Pleasant Hill CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Pleasant Hill CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Pleasant Hill CA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress 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 offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pleasant Hill CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pleasant Hill CA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pleasant Hill CA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in California. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Pleasant Hill CA home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected 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 no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Pleasant Hill CA along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Pleasant Hill CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Pleasant Hill CA area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at 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. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Pleasant Hill 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Pleasant Hill CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Pleasant Hill CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Pleasant Hill CA
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pleasant Hill CA.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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