How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Mill Valley California
Searching for the best nursing school near Mill Valley CA may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Mill Valley CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Mill Valley CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Mill Valley CA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares 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 later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Mill Valley CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mill Valley CA. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain 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 providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mill Valley CA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential 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 contact the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to 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 Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Mill Valley CA home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Mill Valley CA along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Mill Valley CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Mill Valley CA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Mill Valley 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mill Valley CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Mill Valley CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Mill Valley CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Mill Valley CA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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