How to Pick the Best RN Course near Aliso Viejo CA
Locating the best nursing program near Aliso Viejo CA may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function 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 specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Aliso Viejo California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many Aliso Viejo CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable component of a Aliso Viejo CA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Aliso Viejo CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in California for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Aliso Viejo CA healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Aliso Viejo CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Aliso Viejo CA Nursing Program
Selecting the ideal nursing school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Aliso Viejo CA.