How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Lompoc California
Locating the best nursing school near Lompoc CA may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential 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 local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Lompoc CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular 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:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 is more than one degree option to choose from 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lompoc CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Lompoc CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 education 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Lompoc CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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 get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Lompoc CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lompoc 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lompoc 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Lompoc CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Lompoc CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lompoc CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lompoc 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.
Lompoc (/ˈlɒmpoʊk/, LOM-poke) (Purisimeño: Lompo', "Stagnant Water" ) is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, on the west coast of the United States. The city was incorporated on August 13, 1888. The population was 42,434 at the 2010 census, up from 41,103 at the 2000 census.
Before European settlers arrived, the area around Lompoc was inhabited by the Chumash people. The name of the city is derived from a Purisimeño term, "Lum Poc", which means "stagnant waters" or "lagoon". The Spanish called it "Lumpoco". In 1837, the Mexican government sold the area as the Rancho Lompoc land grant. After the United States gained control of California in the Mexican–American War (1846–48), the valley was acquired by Thomas Dibblee, Albert Dibblee and William Welles Hollister. Hollister sold his share to the Lompoc Valley Land Company, and it was on that portion of the land that the present-day Lompoc was established as a temperance colony.
Lompoc was originally intended to be named New Vineland, after the temperance colony in New Jersey. It then became a military town with the completion of nearby Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base). The city is known as the flower seed capital of the world.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Lompoc CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lompoc CA.
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