How to Pick a Nursing College near Greenbrae California
Searching for the best nursing school near Greenbrae CA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Greenbrae CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Greenbrae CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 might want 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Greenbrae CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Greenbrae CA or online, you can use the following pointers to begin 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 important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Greenbrae CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Greenbrae 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 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Greenbrae CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Greenbrae CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 Greenbrae CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Greenbrae CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Greenbrae 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.
Greenbrae is a small unincorporated community in Marin County, California. It is located 1.5 miles (2 km) south-southeast of downtown San Rafael, at an elevation of 33 feet (10 m), located adjacent to U.S. Route 101 at the opening of the Ross Valley. Part of Greenbrae is an unincorporated community of the county while the remaining area is inside the city limits of Larkspur. The ZIP code is 94904, and is shared with the neighboring Census-designated place (CDP) of Kentfield. The community is in area codes 415 and 628.
Predominantly composed of hillside and waterfront terrain, its homes and offices are known for their views of the San Francisco Bay, Corte Madera Creek, and Mount Tamalpais. "Brae" means a steep bank or hillside in dialects of Scotland and Northern Ireland; Greenbrae translates to "green hillside." The developer of Greenbrae, Niels Schultz, Jr., died in early 2008. Greenbrae's neighborhoods are bordered by downtown Larkspur to the south, Larkspur Landing to the east, the unincorporated area of Kentfield to the west, and the city of San Rafael to the north. Straddling Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, its most frequented points of interest include Marin General Hospital and Bon Air Shopping Center.
Greenbrae was home to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer for over 30 years, until 2006. Pediatrician William Silverman, who influenced the development of the neonatal intensive care unit, died there in 2004. Writer Jack Finney died in Greenbrae shortly after completing his last novel, as did Les Crane. Radio host Michael Krasny is a long term resident. American poet FrancEyE died in Greenbrae on June 2, 2009. Additionally, the runner-up of the second season of the cooking competition show Masterchef Junior Samuel Stromberg also lives in Greenbrae.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Greenbrae CA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Greenbrae CA.
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