How to Find the Right Nursing School near Granada Hills California
Selecting the right nursing program near Granada Hills CA may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially 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 proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Granada Hills CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Granada Hills CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Granada Hills CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Granada Hills CA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Granada Hills CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Granada Hills 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 programs you are considering 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Granada Hills CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Granada Hills CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Granada Hills CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Granada Hills CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Granada Hills 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.
Granada Hills, Los Angeles
The community began as dairy farm and orchard known as the Sunshine Ranch which grew apricots, oranges, walnuts and beans. Vestiges of former citrus groves can still be seen in orange, lemon or grapefruit trees in many residential yards. In 1916, the San Fernando Valley's first oil well was drilled in what is now Granada Hills. The oil well was located at the northern tip of Zelzah Avenue. Granada Hills was founded in 1926 as "Granada;" the "Hills" portion of the name was added 15 years later.
Granada Hills is located at the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains, north of North Hills, Northridge, west of Mission Hills and Sylmar, and east of the Porter Ranch neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The Ronald Reagan Freeway–Route 118 runs through its southern area.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 50,535 residents in the 15.11-square neighborhood—or 3,344 people per square mile. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 53,998. In 2000 the median age for residents was 37,
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Granada Hills CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Granada Hills CA.
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