How to Find the Right Nursing School near Cazadero California
Locating the right nursing program near Cazadero CA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Cazadero CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cazadero CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 may 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Cazadero CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 can be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Cazadero CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Cazadero CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies 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, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cazadero 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Cazadero CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Cazadero CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Cazadero CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cazadero CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cazadero 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.
Cazadero is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in western Sonoma County, California, United States with a population of 420. Nearby towns include Jenner, Annapolis, Stewart's Point, Duncans Mills, Villa Grande, Rio Nido, Guerneville, Monte Rio, and The Sea Ranch. The downtown of Cazadero consists of two churches, a general store, a post office, a hardware store, an auto repair garage, private office space, and the Cazadero Volunteer Fire Department.
Cazadero is the general area from the confluence of Austin Creek and the Russian River at the intersection of California State Route 116 and Cazadero Highway running north to the small town of the same name. The town is approximately 6 miles from Route 116. Cazadero Highway parallels Austin Creek which is a principal tributary of the lower Russian River. Austin Creek flows southward from two major forks through the town to the Russian River. Just north of the town, Cazadero Highway is joined by Fort Ross Road which is a winding, narrow road that meanders west before reaching State Route 1 on the Pacific Ocean near an old fort established by the Russians after they invaded in the 19th century. Located in the Sonoma Coast AVA, Cazadero can also be considered part of the Wine Country. Flowers, Fort Ross, Hirsch and Wild Hog Wineries have Cazadero addresses and all operate in the vicinity of the town. Cazadero is approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the Pacific Ocean, the Sonoma Coast and the mouth of the Russian River.
Cazadero was the northern terminus of the North Pacific Coast Railroad, originally laid as narrow-gauge track in the 1870s. This railhead was fed by several smaller gauge systems dedicated to logging and networks of logging roads and trails which brought trees to Duncans Mill for processing and shipment south to San Francisco. Local legend holds that much of San Francisco was rebuilt after the disastrous April 1906 earthquake and fire using redwood and other lumber from the Cazadero area. Cazadero timbers are also known to have been used in pilings sunk to support the old eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (which was replaced by a new span in 2013, and the old eastern span was subsequently demolished.)
Select the Right Nursing Program near Cazadero CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Cazadero CA.
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