How to Choose a Nursing Program near Healdsburg California
Choosing the best nursing college near Healdsburg CA may feel like a formidable undertaking, 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 necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Healdsburg CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 normally 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 multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Healdsburg CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 effectively 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 acquired at Healdsburg CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Healdsburg 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 within California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost 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 evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Healdsburg CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Healdsburg 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 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 Healdsburg CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Healdsburg CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Healdsburg CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Healdsburg CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Healdsburg 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.
Healdsburg is a city located in Sonoma County, in California's Wine Country. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 11,254. Healdsburg is a small tourist-oriented town in northern Sonoma County. Due to its three most important wine-producing regions (the Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valley AVAs), Healdsburg has been continuously awarded one of the top 10 small towns in America and is home to three of the top wineries in the United States.
Early inhabitants of the local area included the Pomo people, who constructed villages in open areas along the Russian River. Anglo-American (Mexican and Russian) settlement may have commenced in the mid-19th century, with a settlement nearby, established downstream along the Russian River near Graton, in 1836, and later the Rancho Sotoyome land grant, in 1844.
In 1857, Harmon Heald, an Ohio businessman who had been squatting on Rancho Sotoyome since 1850, purchased part of the rancho—giving the city its official founding date. In 1867, Heald’s eponymous small town was incorporated. Healdsburg is located within the former township of Mendocino. The San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad reached Healdsburg in 1872.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Healdsburg CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Healdsburg CA.
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