How to Pick a Nursing College near Annapolis California
Locating the best nursing school near Annapolis CA may seem like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Annapolis CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain 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 descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Annapolis CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 received at Annapolis CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with 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.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Annapolis CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Annapolis CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 delivers a top-notch 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 evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 Annapolis 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 schools 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 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 favorable reputation within the Annapolis CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Annapolis CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Annapolis CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Annapolis CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Annapolis California area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The Annapolis Valley is a valley and region in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It is located in the western part of the Nova Scotia peninsula, formed by a trough between two parallel mountain ranges along the shore of the Bay of Fundy. Statistics Canada defines the Annapolis Valley as an economic region, composed of Annapolis County, Kings County, and Hants County.
The valley measures approximately 126 kilometres (78 mi) in length from Digby and the Annapolis Basin in the west to Wolfville and the Minas Basin in the east, spanning the counties of Digby, Annapolis and Kings.
The steep face of basaltic North Mountain shelters the valley from the adjacent Bay of Fundy and rises over 260 metres (850 ft) in elevation near Lawrencetown. The granitic South Mountain rises to a somewhat higher elevation and shelters the valley from the climate of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100 kilometres further south on the province's South Shore.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Annapolis CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Annapolis CA.
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