How to Select a Nursing College in Sonora California
Finding the best nursing school near Sonora CA may seem like a complex project, 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 need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Sonora CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Sonora CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Sonora CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by California community colleges. It preps 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 later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Sonora CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sonora CA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option 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, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sonora CA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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 directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training course 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Sonora CA home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Sonora CA along with the cost of tuition are most likely 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 final decision, 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Sonora CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Sonora CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at 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. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Sonora 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Sonora CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Sonora CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Sonora CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you choose an RN college 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sonora CA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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