How to Find the Right Nursing School near Glen Ellen California
Finding the best nursing program near Glen Ellen CA may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Glen Ellen CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Glen Ellen CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 commonly a 2 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.
When a graduating student has received 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 make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Glen Ellen CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to 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 specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training is state certified. 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Glen Ellen CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense 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 before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Glen Ellen CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Glen Ellen 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 programs 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 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 Glen Ellen CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Glen Ellen CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Glen Ellen CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Glen Ellen CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Glen Ellen 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.
Glen Ellen, California
Glen Ellen is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States. The population was 784 at the 2010 census, down from 992 at the 2000 census. Glen Ellen is the location of Jack London State Historic Park (including the Wolf House), Sonoma Valley Regional Park, and a former home of Hunter S. Thompson.
In 1859, Charles V. Stuart purchased a part of the Rancho Agua Caliente land grant and in 1868 began building a house there, eventually establishing a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) vineyard he named Glen Ellen after his wife. The town that grew up around the vineyard also came to be called Glen Ellen, and Stuart's home was later renamed Glen Oaks Ranch.
Glen Ellen is about 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of the city of Sonoma. The United States Census Bureau fixes the total area at 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), 99.95% of it land and 0.05% covered by water. Sonoma Creek, the principal river of the Sonoma Valley flows through Glen Ellen.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Glen Ellen CA
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Glen Ellen CA.
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