How to Select a Nursing Program in Temecula California
Selecting the right nursing college near Temecula CA may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Temecula CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Temecula CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Temecula CA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain 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 commonly a 2 year program made available 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 obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Temecula CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Temecula CA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Temecula CA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Temecula CA home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, 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 previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Temecula CA along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Temecula CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Temecula CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Temecula 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Temecula CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Temecula CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Temecula CA
Choosing the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Temecula CA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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