How to Pick a Nursing Program near Fremont California
Selecting the right nursing college near Fremont CA may feel like a challenging undertaking, 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 obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Fremont CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Fremont CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards 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 allowed 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Fremont CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fremont CA or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Fremont CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fremont 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fremont CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Fremont CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into 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 specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Fremont CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Fremont CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fremont 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.
Fremont (/ˈfriːmɒnt/ FREE-mont) is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the annexing of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San José, and Warm Springs. The city is named after John C. Frémont, an American explorer and former US Senator from California, Governor from Arizona, Major General in the Union Army, and the first Republican presidential candidate, in 1856.
Located in the southeast San Francisco Bay Area and straddling both the East Bay and South Bay regions, Fremont has a rapidly-growing population of around 230,000. It is one of the largest cities by land area and the fourth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area, behind San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland. It directly borders and is the closest East Bay city to Silicon Valley as formally defined, and is thus often associated with it. The city has an extensive and rapidly expanding base of both tech industry and workers.
The area consisting of Fremont and the cities of Newark and Union City (formed from the annex of Alvarado and Decoto) is known collectively as the Tri-City Area; different from the adjacent Tri-Valley area encompassing Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Fremont CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school 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 create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Fremont CA.
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