Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – El Cerrito CA

How to Pick a Nursing College near El Cerrito California

El Cerrito CA surgical nurse assisting surgeonFinding the right nursing school near El Cerrito CA may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

El Cerrito CA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as El Cerrito CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degrees

There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the El Cerrito CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 prior 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees

El Cerrito CA LPN assisting patientThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, 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 alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 should 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at El Cerrito CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in El Cerrito CAOnce you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near El Cerrito CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in El Cerrito CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specified 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some El Cerrito 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 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the El Cerrito CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with El Cerrito CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Nursing Online Schools

woman attending nursing school online in El Cerrito CAAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many El Cerrito 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 can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near El Cerrito CA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater El Cerrito 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.

El Cerrito, California

El Cerrito is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, and forms part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a population of 23,549 according to the 2010 census. El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was incorporated in 1917 as a village with 1,500 residents. As of the census in 2000, there were 23,171 people, 10,208 households and 5,971 families in the city. The top 20 employers in the city, according to the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, include such entities as the West Contra Costa Unified School District, the City of El Cerrito, Lucky Stores, Pastime ACE Hardware, and Honda of El Cerrito.

El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. They settled in what was then Don Víctor Castro's Rancho San Pablo, and adjacent to the ranch owned by the family of Luís María Peralta, the Rancho San Antonio.[8] A post office opened at the settlement in 1909 and the refugee camp became known as Rust, after Wilhelm F. Rust, its first postmaster.[9][10] The village's residents did not care for the name and changed it to El Cerrito in 1916, in reference to the prominent Albany Hill just south of the village (the name means "little hill" or "knoll").[9] A year later, El Cerrito was incorporated as a village with 1,500 residents.[8]

El Cerrito is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. The hilly areas of El Cerrito provide views of its neighboring city, and of the Golden Gate Bridge. El Cerrito is located along Interstate 80, and nearby Interstate 580. The city is less than 30 miles from two major airports. El Cerrito is bordered by Albany and Kensington to the south, the Richmond annex to the west, East Richmond Heights to the north, and Wildcat Canyon Regional Park to the east. Local landmark Albany Hill is in Albany, just across the border with El Cerrito. (El Cerrito—Spanish, "the little hill"—takes its name from Albany Hill.)[citation needed] The Hayward Fault runs through El Cerrito. In addition, El Cerrito is within 150 meters (490 feet) of Berkeley to the southeast.

Pick the Right Nursing Degree near El Cerrito CA

El Cerrito CA nursing studentSelecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in El Cerrito CA.

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