How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Pacific Palisades California
Locating the best nursing school near Pacific Palisades CA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, 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 evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Pacific Palisades CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 generally 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 are multiple degrees available 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 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 offered in the Pacific Palisades CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Pacific Palisades CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Pacific Palisades CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Pacific Palisades CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Pacific Palisades 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Pacific Palisades CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Pacific Palisades CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Pacific Palisades CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pacific Palisades CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pacific Palisades 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.
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles
Pacific Palisades is a coastal neighborhood in the Westside of the city of Los Angeles, California, located among Brentwood to the east, Malibu and Topanga to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. The area currently has about 27,000 residents. It is primarily a residential area, with a mixture of large private homes, small (usually older) houses, condominiums, and apartments.
In 1911, film director Thomas Ince created his Western film factory, "Inceville", which at its peak employed nearly 600 people. A decade later, the Rev. Charles H. Scott and the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church bought the land; in 1922, Scott founded Pacific Palisades, envisioning an elaborate religious-intellectual commune. Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. The tents eventually were replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multimillion-dollar homes. The climate of the area was a big selling point. Temperatures are much cooler than inland Los Angeles during summer, but usually sunnier and less foggy than areas south along the coast (e.g. Santa Monica).
During their exile from Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s, many German and Austrian intellectuals and artists associated with the Exilliteratur settled in Pacific Palisades, including Thomas Mann (1550 San Remo Drive),Lion Feuchtwanger, Theodor W. Adorno, Vicki Baum, Oskar Homolka and Emil Ludwig.Villa Aurora on Paseo Miramar, the Spanish colonial home of Feuchtwanger and his wife, Marta, became the focal point of the expatriate community, which was nicknamed "Weimar by the Sea".
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Pacific Palisades CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pacific Palisades CA.
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