How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Hermosa Beach California
Searching for the best nursing program near Hermosa Beach CA may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Hermosa Beach 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 exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some 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
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend 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 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hermosa Beach CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically 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 wish to advance 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 acquired at Hermosa Beach CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Hermosa Beach CA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with 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 selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Hermosa Beach 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet 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 considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, 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 Hermosa Beach 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Hermosa Beach CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Hermosa Beach CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Hermosa Beach CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Hermosa Beach CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Hermosa Beach 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.
Hermosa Beach, California
The city is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area and is one of the three Beach Cities. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east.
The city's beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding and bars. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa's average temperature is 70 °F (22 °C) in the summer and 55 °F (13 °C) in the winter. Westerly sea breezes lessen what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county and help keep the smog away 360 days of the year.
A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa's beach from Torrance Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica. The Hermosa Beach pier is at the end of Pier Avenue, which is one of the beach community's main shopping, eating and partying areas.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Hermosa Beach CA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Hermosa Beach CA.
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