How to Choose a Nursing Program near Kings Beach California
Searching for the right nursing school near Kings Beach CA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training 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 final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Kings Beach CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kings Beach CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 syllabus 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Kings Beach CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Kings Beach CA or on the web, 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 lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Kings Beach CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet 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. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Kings Beach 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 programs 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 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 Kings Beach CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Kings Beach CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Kings Beach CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Kings Beach CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Kings Beach 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.
Kings Beach, California
Kings Beach is a census-designated place (CDP) in Placer County, California, United States on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,796 at the 2010 census, down from 4,037 at the 2000 census.
California State Route 28 passes through Kings Beach along the Lake Tahoe shore. California State Route 267 meets Route 28 in Kings Beach and connects the town to Northstar, Truckee, and Interstate 80.
Kings Beach has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb) that is characterized by warm (but not hot) dry summers, and snowy winters. Due to its high elevation Kings Beach winters tend to fall below freezing for many days during the winter.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Kings Beach CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Kings Beach CA.
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