How to Select a Nursing School near Homewood California
Choosing the right nursing program near Homewood CA may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire 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 thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of 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 function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Homewood CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Homewood CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Homewood CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training course 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Homewood CA or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Homewood CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific 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 delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Homewood 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 finish 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Homewood CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Homewood CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Homewood CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Homewood CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Homewood 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.
Homewood is an unincorporated community in Placer County, California of about 200 residents, located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It is located 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Tahoe City and north of Chambers Landing and Tahoma. It is the location of Homewood Mountain Resort. The community of Tahoe Pines uses Homewood's ZIP Code, 96141. Thomas McConnell is said to be the founder of Homewood, after he purchased lakefront property on Lake Tahoe's west shore and laid out the Homewood District with property on either side of Highway 89 in 1889. The Homewood Post Office was later established in 1909.
The Homewood area on the shore of Lake Tahoe is also host to the Homewood Mountain Ski Resort. The resort comprises 1,260 acres (5.1 km2), 7 ski lifts, 60 runs and 1,650 vertical feet with a summit of 7,880 feet (2,400 m).
Pick the Right Nursing School near Homewood CA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Homewood CA.
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