How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Soquel California
Choosing the right nursing school near Soquel CA may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Soquel CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Soquel CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Soquel CA. And 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Soquel CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Soquel CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides 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 should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Soquel CA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in California. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Soquel CA home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Soquel CA as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Soquel CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 imperative that the Soquel 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 working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Soquel 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Soquel CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Soquel CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Soquel CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Soquel CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in California