How to Pick a Nursing College near Cambria California
Finding the right nursing college near Cambria CA may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Cambria CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid 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. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cambria CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 wish 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 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Cambria CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Cambria CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Cambria 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with 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 all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Cambria 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cambria CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Cambria CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Cambria CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cambria CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cambria 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.
Cambria /ˈkeɪmbriə/ is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). The name Cambria, chosen in 1869, is the Latin name for Wales. Cambria is situated amidst Monterey pines in one of only three such native forests. Previously, the town had gone by the names of Slabtown, Rosaville, San Simeon and Santa Rosa. The corresponding census designated place (CDP) had a population of 6,032 at the 2010 census, slightly down from 6,232 at the 2000 census.
The earliest human settlement of this area is known to be associated with prehistoric habitation by the Native American Chumash peoples, who exploited marine resources along the coastal area, with emphasis upon sites that were close to rivers.
Although our recorded history of the tribes in this region does not begin until the explorers and missionaries arrived, there is evidence of many tribal settlements in the area later known as Cambria. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people inhabited the area in the time (some 1000 years) before the Spanish arrived. Experts believe these tribes to have been migratory and used Cambria as a seasonal settlement; other scientists are convinced that they lived there permanently. Most agree that they fed themselves with shellfish and seafood, as well as obtaining food from travels inland to hunt and gather seeds. A variety of artistically-crafted implements have been discovered, including spears points and arrowheads made from obsidian; basalt, sandstone, and granite were used to make mortars and pestles; soapstone kettles and stone hammers were also found. These early inhabitants were skilled basket and net makers and fashioned jewelry from crab claws, abalone shells, and the teeth of sharks and whales. The presence of soapstone (steatite) provides evidence that they traded with the Catalina Island tribes, whereas the lack of metals and glass indicates that they did not trade with Europeans or Asians.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Cambria CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Cambria CA.
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