How to Pick a Nursing School near Campbell California
Finding the best nursing program near Campbell CA may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Campbell CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Campbell CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Campbell CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Campbell CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Campbell CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Campbell 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Campbell CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Campbell 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 popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Campbell CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited 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 Campbell CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Campbell 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.
Campbell /ˈkæmbəl/ is a city in Santa Clara County, California, and part of Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2016 U.S. Census, Campbell's population is 42,584. Although not a major high-tech city like many of its neighbors, Campbell is the original home of eBay and of its creator, Pierre Omidyar.
Campbell is home to the Pruneyard Shopping Center, a sprawling open-air retail complex which was involved in a famous U.S. Supreme Court case that established the extent of the right to free speech in California. Today the Pruneyard Shopping Center is home to the South Bay offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Of the total area, 1.49% is water, consisting of percolation ponds in Los Gatos Creek Park and in other locations; San Tomas Aquino Creek, which flows north on the west side of the city, is completely enclosed with fences and runs through concrete culverts; and Los Gatos Creek, which flows north-north-east on the east side of the city and has paths along both banks for hikers and joggers (locally called the "Perc Ponds").
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Campbell CA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Campbell CA.
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