How to Enroll In the Right RN Training Program near Arden Arcade CA
Finding the right nursing school near Arden Arcade CA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Arden Arcade CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Arden Arcade California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Arden Arcade CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Arden Arcade CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Arden Arcade 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied 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 Arden Arcade CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Arden Arcade CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Arden Arcade CA Nursing School
Selecting the ideal nursing program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arden Arcade CA.