How to Select a Nursing College in Union City California
Finding the right nursing college near Union City CA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Union City CA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Union City CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Union City CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations 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 preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Union City CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional 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 mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Union City CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain 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, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Union City CA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the education 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Union City CA home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. 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 lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Union City CA and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Union City 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Union City CA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Union City 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Union City CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Union City CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Union City CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school 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 develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Union City CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in California