How to Pick a Nursing College near Eureka California
Finding the right nursing college near Eureka CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Eureka CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Eureka CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain 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 4 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 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Eureka CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Eureka CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably 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 select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Eureka CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Eureka CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Eureka CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Eureka CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Eureka CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Eureka CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Eureka 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.
Eureka (Hupa: do'-wi-lotl-ding,Karuk: uuth) is the principal city and county seat of Humboldt County in the Redwood Empire region of California. The city is located on U.S. Route 101 on the shores of Humboldt Bay, 270 miles (430 km) north of San Francisco and 100 miles (160 km) south of the Oregon border. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 27,191, and the population of Greater Eureka was 45,034.
Eureka is the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, and the westernmost city of more than 25,000 residents in the 48 contiguous states. It is the regional center for government, health care, trade, and the arts on the North Coast north of the San Francisco Bay Area. Greater Eureka, one of California's major commercial fishing ports, is the location of the largest deep-water port between San Francisco and Coos Bay, a stretch of about 500 miles (800 km). The headquarters of both the Six Rivers National Forest and the North Coast Redwoods District of the California State Parks System are in Eureka. As entrepôt for hundreds of lumber mills that once existed in the area, the city played a leading role in the historic West Coast lumber trade. The entire city is a state historic landmark, which has hundreds of significant Victorian homes, including the nationally recognized Carson Mansion, and the city has retained its original 19th-century commercial core as a nationally recognized Old Town Historic District. Eureka is home to California's oldest zoo, the Sequoia Park Zoo.
Eureka's Pacific coastal location on Humboldt Bay, adjacent to abundant redwood forests, provided the reason for settlement of this 19th-century seaport town. Before the arrival of Euro-American settlers, including farmers, miners, fishermen, and loggers, the area was occupied by indigenous peoples.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Eureka CA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Eureka CA.
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