How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Clearlake Oaks California
Locating the right nursing college near Clearlake Oaks CA may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together 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 numerous different medical environments, including Clearlake Oaks CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered 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 two years, or continue on 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 Clearlake Oaks CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 desire 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 guarantees that the core curriculum 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 attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Clearlake Oaks 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Clearlake Oaks CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Clearlake Oaks 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. Certain states require a specific 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Clearlake Oaks 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 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 unhappy 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 Clearlake Oaks CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Clearlake Oaks CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Clearlake Oaks CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Clearlake Oaks CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Clearlake Oaks 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.
Clearlake Oaks, California
Clearlake Oaks is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lake County, California, United States. It is located on the extreme southeast of Clear Lake, 13 miles (20.8 km) east-southeast of Lakeport, at an elevation of 1,335 feet (407 m). The population was 2,359 at the 2010 census, down from 2,402 at the 2000 census.
The site of the original town, inland of State Route 20, was subdivided by the 1920s. Situated in a broad canyon mouth, the original town site is about 4 blocks long and 3 deep, triangular in shape, with a plaza site in its center. Today the plaza is paved and used for parking by the church located along the west side. Most of the homes in the village remain true to their "fishing cottage" roots.
The Stubbs post office opened in 1926, and changed its name to Clearlake Oaks in 1935. The name Stubbs honored Charles Stubbs, a local landowner. The relocation of the post office, the aging population, and the coming of Wal-Mart have combined to kill the "downtown". Fifteen years ago, there were two markets, a chain hardware store, two gas stations, video store, salon, and several restaurants and bars. A privately operated marina had fish and ski boats for rent. But by the late nineties, Clearlake Oaks was down to one market, one convenience store, and a struggling antique store.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Clearlake Oaks CA
Choosing the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Clearlake Oaks CA.
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