How to Choose a Nursing Program in Sunol California
Selecting the right nursing school near Sunol CA may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Sunol CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid 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 along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 Sunol CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Sunol CA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including 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) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Sunol 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sunol CA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sunol CA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive 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 center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Sunol CA home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within 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 pointed out, the site of the school relative to Sunol CA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Sunol 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 important that the Sunol CA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call some nearby Sunol CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 superb reputation within the Sunol CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Sunol CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Sunol CA
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Sunol CA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in California