How to Select a Nursing Program in Nevada City California
Choosing the right nursing program near Nevada City CA may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order 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 study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Nevada City CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 Nevada City CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Nevada City 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 two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Nevada City CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Nevada City CA. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 syllabus 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Nevada City CA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Nevada City CA home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Nevada City CA along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, 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 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Nevada City CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Nevada City CA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. 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 local Nevada City 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 complete 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 favorable reputation within the Nevada City CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Nevada City CA area nursing degree programs require a specified 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 community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Nevada City CA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Nevada City CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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