How to Select a Nursing College in Sun City California
Locating the right nursing school near Sun City CA may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role 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 most significant occupation in the Sun City CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Sun City CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Sun 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 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Sun City 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sun City CA. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sun City CA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Sun City CA home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Sun City CA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Sun City 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) together 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 imperative that the Sun City CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Sun City CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Sun City CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Sun City CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Sun City CA
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Sun City CA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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