How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Sylmar California
Selecting the best nursing program near Sylmar CA may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently 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 study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Sylmar CA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Sylmar CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Sylmar 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- 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 later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Sylmar CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sylmar CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sylmar CA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for California to make certain 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in California. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Sylmar CA home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 family commitments have left you with 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 active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous 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 Sylmar CA as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Sylmar CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Sylmar CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Sylmar 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 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 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 Sylmar 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 get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Sylmar CA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Sylmar CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sylmar CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have 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 several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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