How to Select a Nursing School near Larkspur California
Finding the best nursing program near Larkspur CA may seem like a challenging endeavor, 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 must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over 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 Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Larkspur CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring 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 more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 to choose from 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance 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 Larkspur CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Larkspur CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as 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 Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Larkspur CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Larkspur CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. 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 preps 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 assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. 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 call some Larkspur CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Larkspur CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain 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. Find out if the schools have associations with Larkspur CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Larkspur CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with 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 busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Larkspur CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Larkspur 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.
Larkspur is a city in Marin County, California, United States. Larkspur is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south of San Rafael, at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m). As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 11,926. Larkspur is located north of San Francisco near Mount Tamalpais. Larkspur's Police Department is shared with that of the neighboring Corte Madera and town of San Anselmo as the Central Marin Police Authority. Intersecting Larkspur's downtown is Madrone Canyon, a residential area amidst a redwood grove.
Charles W. Wright laid out the town in 1887. The first post office opened in 1891. Larkspur incorporated in 1908.Larkspur's Downtown Historic District, known also as Old Downtown Larkspur, is a historic district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The restored Art Deco Lark Theater is part of this downtown district.
In the United States House of Representatives, Larkspur is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman. From 2008 to 2012, Huffman represented Marin County in the California State Assembly.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Larkspur CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Larkspur CA.
More Awesome Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 218