How to Pick a Nursing School near Carmel Valley California
Selecting the right nursing program near Carmel Valley CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision 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 medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Carmel Valley CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Carmel Valley CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Carmel Valley 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Carmel Valley CA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Carmel Valley CA 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) 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Carmel Valley 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 colleges you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Carmel Valley CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Carmel Valley CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Carmel Valley CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Carmel Valley CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Carmel Valley 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.
Carmel Valley Village, California
Carmel Valley Village (also known as Carmel Valley for short) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Monterey County, California, United States. At the time of the 2010 census the population was 4,407, down from 4,700 at the 2000 census. In November 2009, a majority of residents voted against incorporation.
Carmel Valley Village is located at 36°29′10″N 121°43′26″W / 36.48611°N 121.72389°W / 36.48611; -121.72389. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 19.2 square miles (50 km2), 98.98% of it land and 1.02% of it water. The community of Robles Del Rio is located on the opposite bank of the Carmel River.
The Carmel River drains the area of Carmel Valley. Primary ecosystems of the vicinity include California oak woodland, riparian woodland, chaparral, grassland and savanna. Dominant oak trees include Quercus agrifolia. The locale of Carmel Valley is also the northernmost range of the hybrid oak Quercus x alvordiana.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Carmel Valley CA
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college 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 short list of schools to select 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 Carmel Valley CA.
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