How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Alameda California
Finding the right nursing program near Alameda CA may seem like a difficult project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Alameda CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with 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
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 available in the Alameda CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Alameda CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Alameda CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Alameda CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, 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 prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Alameda 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 schools 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 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 Alameda CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Alameda CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Alameda CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Alameda CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Alameda 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.
Alameda (/ˌæləˈmiːdə/ AL-ə-MEE-də; Spanish: [ala'meða]) is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island, and is adjacent to and south of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay. Bay Farm Island, a portion of which is also known as "Harbor Bay Isle", is not actually an island, and is part of the mainland adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. The city's estimated 2017 population was 79,928. Alameda is a charter city, rather than a general law city, allowing the city to provide for any form of government. Alameda became a charter city and adopted a council–manager government in 1916, which it retains to the present.
The island Alameda occupies what was originally a peninsula connected to Oakland. Much of it was low-lying and marshy, but on higher ground than the peninsula and adjacent parts of what is now downtown Oakland were home to one of the largest coastal oak forests in the world. The area was therefore called Encinal, Spanish for "forest of evergreen oak".Alameda is Spanish for "grove of poplar trees" or "tree-lined avenue", and was chosen in 1853 by popular vote.
The inhabitants at the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the late 18th century were a local band of the Ohlone tribe. The peninsula became part of the vast Rancho San Antonio granted in 1820 to Luis Peralta by the Spanish king who claimed California. The grant was later confirmed by the new Republic of Mexico upon its independence from Spain.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Alameda CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Alameda CA.
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