How to Choose a Nursing College near Chatsworth California
Finding the right nursing college near Chatsworth CA may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Chatsworth CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Chatsworth CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 progress 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 offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Chatsworth CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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 is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Chatsworth CA or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Chatsworth CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Chatsworth 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chatsworth CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Chatsworth CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Chatsworth CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward 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 Chatsworth CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Chatsworth 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.
Chatsworth, Los Angeles
The area was home to Native Americans, some of whom left caves containing rock art. Chatsworth was explored and colonized by the Spanish beginning in the 18th century. The land was part of a Mexican land grant in the 19th century, and after the United States took over the land following the Mexican–American War, it was the largest such grant in California. Settlement and development followed.
Chatsworth has seven public and eight private schools. There are large open-space and smaller recreational parks as well as a public library and a transportation center. Distinctive features are the former Chatsworth Reservoir and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 35,073 residents in the 15.24-square-mile Chatsworth neighborhood, or 2,301 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities for both the city and the county. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 37,102. In 2000 the median age for residents was 40, considered old for city and county neighborhoods; the percentages of residents aged 35 and older were among the county's highest.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Chatsworth CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chatsworth CA.
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