How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Oakley California
Choosing the right nursing program near Oakley CA may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Oakley CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Oakley CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Oakley 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Oakley CA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Oakley 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 Oakley CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 Oakley CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Oakley CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Oakley CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Oakley CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Oakley 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.
Oakley is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is within the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The January 1, 2016 population was 40,144, as determined by the State Department of Finance. Oakley was incorporated in 1999 and is the most recently incorporated city in Contra Costa County. Oakley is part of the East Contra Costa Bicycle Plan, which has existing facilities in Oakley as well as plans for further expansion.
The Oakley areas offers access to the Delta de Anza Regional Trail. According to reports provided by CNN, Oakley experiences 21.16 inches of annual rainfall with an average high temperature in July of 96.0 F and an average low temperature in January of 40.0 F. Oakley experiences 52% clear days throughout the year.
Oakley's west border is Highway 160, which provides access to Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and the Central Valley. The City of Antioch adjoins Oakley on the west, the city of Brentwood adjoins Oakley on the south, and Bethel Island lies to the east. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta forms the northern boundary. The southwestern skyline is dominated by Mt. Diablo.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Oakley CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Oakley CA.
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