How to Select a Nursing College near Morro Bay California
Searching for the right nursing program near Morro Bay CA may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Morro Bay CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend 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 short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Morro Bay CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, 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, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 training can be obtained at Morro Bay 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 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 training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with 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.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Morro Bay CA or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Morro Bay 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) along with 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares 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 assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Morro Bay 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Morro Bay CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Morro Bay CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many Morro Bay CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited 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 Morro Bay CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Morro Bay 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.
Morro Bay, California
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,234, down from 10,350 at the 2000 census.
The prehistory of Morro Bay relates to Chumash settlement, particularly near the mouth of Morro Creek. At least as early as the Millingstone Horizon thousands of years before present, there was an extensive settlement along the banks and terraces above Morro Creek.
The first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portola expedition, came down Los Osos Valley and camped near today's Morro Bay on September 8, 1769. Franciscan missionary and expedition member Juan Crespi noted in his diary that "we saw a great rock in the form of a round morro".
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Morro Bay CA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Morro Bay CA.
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