How to Select a Nursing School near Half Moon Bay California
Locating the right nursing program near Half Moon Bay CA may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Half Moon Bay CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising 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 common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Half Moon Bay CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 desire 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 usually a two 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.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Half Moon Bay 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Half Moon Bay CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Half Moon Bay 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in 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. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 Half Moon Bay 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 colleges 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Half Moon Bay CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Half Moon Bay CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Half Moon Bay CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Half Moon Bay CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Half Moon Bay 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.
Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 11,324 as of the 2010 census. Immediately at the north of Half Moon Bay is the Pillar Point Harbor and the unincorporated community of Princeton-by-the-Sea. The urban area had a population of 20,713 at the same census.
Half Moon Bay began as a rural agriculture area, primarily used for grazing of cattle, horses, and oxen used by Mission San Francisco de Asis (established in June 1776). Following the secularization of the Mission, Tiburcio Vásquez received the Rancho Corral de Tierra Mexican land grant in 1839 and Candelario Miramontes was granted Rancho Miramontes (later known as Rancho San Benito) in 1841.
The community began to develop in the 1840s as the first real town in San Mateo County. Known originally as San Benito, the town was renamed Spanishtown and attracted a thriving fishing industry in addition to its continued importance to coastal agriculture. Spanishtown became a racially diverse community, settled by Canadians, Chinese, English, Germans, Irish, Mexicans, Italians, Scots, Portuguese, and Pacific Islanders. Regular stagecoach service was established with San Mateo; coaches also served the communities of Purissima, Lobitos, and San Gregorio. Levy Brothers opened a department store in downtown Half Moon Bay. Spanishtown was officially renamed Half Moon Bay in 1874.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Half Moon Bay CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Half Moon Bay CA.
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