How to Choose a Nursing College in Phillipsville California
Choosing the right nursing program near Phillipsville CA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Phillipsville CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Phillipsville CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Phillipsville CA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire 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 summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Phillipsville CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Phillipsville CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Phillipsville CA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Phillipsville CA home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Phillipsville CA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Phillipsville CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Phillipsville CA area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Phillipsville 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Phillipsville CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Phillipsville CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Phillipsville CA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school 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 short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Phillipsville CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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