How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Brentwood California
Finding the right nursing school near Brentwood CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Brentwood CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Brentwood CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually 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.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Brentwood CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as 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.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Brentwood CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Brentwood CA for non-accredited schools.
- 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Brentwood 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Brentwood CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Brentwood CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Brentwood CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Brentwood CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Brentwood 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.
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.
Brentwood began as a community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Due to urban sprawl many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.
Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos, the land grant that Brentwood is built upon, in 1837 from Jose Noriega. Marsh was one of the wealthiest men in California and was instrumental in its becoming independent from Mexico and part of the United States. His letters extolling the potential for agriculture in California were published in newspapers throughout the East. They resulted in the first wagon trains to California. Marsh encouraged this, and allowed new arrivals to stay on his ranch until they could get settled. Rancho Los Meganos became the terminus of the California Trail. Brentwood was named after Marsh's ancestral home, the town of Brentwood in the County of Essex, England.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Brentwood CA
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Brentwood CA.
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