How to Select a Nursing College in Laguna Hills California
Choosing the right nursing college near Laguna Hills CA may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Laguna Hills CA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Laguna Hills CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Laguna Hills 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 advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers 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 prior 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 employment 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 example to become a nurse practitioner in Laguna Hills 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change 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 Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Laguna Hills CA. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Laguna Hills CA area. The length of the training 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in California. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Laguna Hills CA home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Laguna Hills CA and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Laguna Hills CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Laguna Hills CA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent 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 services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Laguna Hills 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Laguna Hills 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. Virtually all Laguna Hills CA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Laguna Hills CA
Choosing the right registered nursing school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Laguna Hills CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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