How to Select a Nursing College near Ferndale California
Choosing the best nursing program near Ferndale CA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Ferndale CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ferndale CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Ferndale CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary 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 recommendation is to contact 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 may be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Ferndale CA or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly 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 before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Ferndale CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 Ferndale CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 displeased 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 Ferndale CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Ferndale CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Ferndale CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Ferndale CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Ferndale 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.
Ferndale is a city in Humboldt County, California, United States. Its population was 1,371 at the 2010 census, down from 1,382 at the 2000 census. The city contains dozens of well-preserved Victorian storefronts and homes. Ferndale is the northern gateway to California's Lost Coast and the city, which is sited on the edge of a wide plain near the mouth of the Eel River, is also located near the extensive preserves of Coast Redwood forests.
Before American settlement, Ferndale was a glade of giant ferns reaching more than six feet, surrounded by alder, willow, Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, coast redwood, swampy land and windswept prairies. The area was populated by the southern Wiyot people, centered along the Eel River where they caught lamprey eels, salmon and sturgeon in iris leaf fish nets, collected shellfish along the river and at its mouth, while cultivating only a California species of tobacco. The town was established in 1852 from settlement by Willard Allard, Seth Louis Shaw and his brother Stephen W. Shaw.
In August 1852, Allard and the Shaw brothers borrowed a canoe from the Wiyots in the Table Bluff area and rowed it across the Eel and up Francis Creek to arrive with their supplies to the approximate vicinity of Main and Shaw streets. In September 1852 they cleared a five-acre area of ferns and began building a cabin near the base of the Wildcat Road even though Allard was sick with the ague. By January 1853, twelve men were living in the Shaws' cabin including Seth Kinman, who provided the group with meat, and Joe Russ (1825-1886), whose later holdings included the Fern Cottage Historic District. About this time, Stephen Shaw painted the portrait of Wiyot elder Kiwelattah (or Ki-we-lah-tah) and kept a detailed journal of two years of trying to grow plants in cold coastal fog.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Ferndale CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Ferndale CA.
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