How to Choose a Nursing Program near Capistrano Beach California
Locating the right nursing program near Capistrano Beach CA may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive 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 contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Capistrano Beach CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty 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 area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Capistrano Beach CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he 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.
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Capistrano Beach CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Capistrano Beach CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial 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 ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Capistrano Beach CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 certain 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Capistrano Beach 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 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 superb reputation within the Capistrano Beach 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 acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Capistrano Beach CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Capistrano Beach CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Capistrano Beach CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Capistrano Beach 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.
Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, California
Capistrano Beach is situated along the coast on the southern end of Dana Point. Homes range from beach cottages to some of the finest real estate in Orange County. Many multimillion-dollar homes can be found in the area, with some situated atop a cliff overlooking Coast Highway and the Capistrano Beach park below. Several celebrities live in the town area, notably on Beach Road, where Hobie Alter conceived of his bestselling Hobie Cat catamaran. There are more modest homes in Capistrano Beach, namely older homes located off Camino Capistrano a little farther from the shore.
Originally a part of Rancho Boca de la Playa, the area now known as Capistrano Beach was known as Serra in the late 1880s when the railroad was first extending down from Los Angeles. The land was reportedly sold to the San Bernardino and San Diego Railroad company for $1. Development of Capistrano Beach started in 1925 with residential homes on the bluff. The Capistrano Beach club was built along the shore of the new development. In 1929, the Petroleum Securities Company (owned by Edward L. Doheney) became the new owners of the Capistrano Beach development. In 1931, Doheny donated over 40 acres of beach to the state, which became Doheny State Beach. During the excavation of the land during development, the bones of a mastodon (or possibly a mammoth) were discovered. A 1180 ft wood pier was built for strolling, sightseeing, and fishing. The pier was severely damaged by waves in 1964. It was condemned and closed for fishing. Demolition of the pier was started in September 1965. The Capistrano Beach club became rundown and, in the late 1960s was dismantled. Capistrano Beach became part of the city of Dana Point in 1989.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Capistrano Beach CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose 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 produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Capistrano Beach CA.
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