How to Choose a Nursing Program near Oak View California
Searching for the right nursing school near Oak View CA may seem like a formidable 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 need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at 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 most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Oak View CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Oak View CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Oak View CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Oak View CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Oak View CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also preps 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Oak View 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Oak View CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Oak View 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 in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Oak View CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Oak View CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Oak View 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.
Oak View, California
Oak View is an unincorporated community in Ventura County, California, United States located along the Ventura River between the towns of Casitas Springs (south) and Mira Monte (north) in a narrow river valley. Lake Casitas and the community of Ojai are nearby. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Oak View as a census-designated place (CDP). The census definition of the area may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name. At the 2010 census, the population of Oak View was 4,066, down from 4,199 at the 2000 census, making it the third largest community between Ojai and the city of Ventura.
The town of Oak View was established as a 'bedroom community' during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily home to local oil industry workers who found work in nearby Ventura. Besides nearby downtown Ojai, Oak View is the only other town in the Ojai Valley with a discernible "downtown", which has developed along the Ventura Avenue/Highway 33 corridor. Oak View's 'downtown' had a number of businesses and services that have withstood the test of time and economic conditions. Among them, you'll find a post office, a grocery store, a grocery mart, one bank, a Thai restaurant, a coffee house/restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, a pizza parlor, two automobile repair shops, two tire shops, two self-serve gasoline stations, two coffee shops, an equipment rental yard, several hair stylists, a pet supplies store, a liquor store, a walk-in medical office, a car wash, and a laundromat.
At various times over the years, some locals have considered incorporating as a city, as an alternative to County of Ventura governance. Some considered a name change to "River City." But, until the town has the ability to provide the same services of an incorporated city, this won't happen.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Oak View CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Oak View CA.
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