How to Find the Right Nursing College near Fair Oaks California
Choosing the best nursing program near Fair Oaks CA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Fair Oaks CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 is more than one degree option 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 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Fair Oaks CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, 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 option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Fair Oaks CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 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 minimal period of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial 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 suggestion is to contact 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 prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Fair Oaks CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Fair 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fair Oaks 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fair Oaks CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Fair Oaks CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Fair Oaks CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Fair Oaks CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fair 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.
Fair Oaks, California
Fair Oaks is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 30,912 at the 2010 census, up from 28,008 at the 2000 census. The Fair Oaks zip code is 95628 and its area code is 916.
Fair Oaks is bounded on the south side by the American River, and Rancho Cordova, on the north side by the city of Citrus Heights, on the west side by Carmichael, and the east side by Orangevale and Folsom. Fair Oaks is known for its mix of suburban and semi-rural neighborhoods.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 11.2 square miles (29 km2), of which, 10.8 square miles (28 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (4.02%) is water.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Fair Oaks CA
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Fair Oaks CA.
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