How to Select a Nursing School near Felton California
Selecting the best nursing school near Felton CA may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Felton CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 normally 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Felton CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Felton 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch 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 other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Felton CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Felton CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Felton 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Felton CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Felton CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Felton CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. 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 busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Felton CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Felton 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.
Felton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. The population was 4,057 as of 2010 census and according to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all of it land.
Named for John B. Felton, a former Oakland, California mayor, a judge and a San Francisco Bay Area investor in his day, the town is a historic logging community. Felton served as the lower terminus of the San Lorenzo Valley Logging Flume from Boulder Creek, which began construction in 1874 and when formally opened in October 1875 was augmented by a new rail line to transport logs to the wharf in Santa Cruz.
Shortly after the Santa Cruz & Felton Railroad began operation, a second rail line began operation in 1880 from Alameda, California and San Jose, California. A new depot was constructed at "New Felton" using salvaged materials from a dismantled portion of the San Lorenzo Valley Logging Flume from Boulder Creek. The railroads, limekilns and forest in this area provided a majority of the repair materials for the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The standard gauge railroad line came into Felton by 1909.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Felton CA
Choosing the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Felton CA.
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