How to Select a Nursing School near North Highlands California
Locating the right nursing program near North Highlands CA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure 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 obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to explore before you make a decision 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, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as North Highlands CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the North Highlands 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 healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 want 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various 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 Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at North Highlands CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near North Highlands CA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first 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 evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in North Highlands 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some North Highlands 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the North Highlands CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with North Highlands CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain 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 convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some North Highlands CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near North Highlands CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater North Highlands 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.
North Highlands, California
North Highlands is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 42,694 at the 2010 census, down from 44,187 at the 2000 census.
Wanting to create a safe, business supported community at the section of Highway 80 and Watt Avenue, the property owners voted to be assessed and support efforts in cleaning up and beautify the area, so that the locals and visitors will enjoy spending time in the area. Additional security within the PBID has reduced crime 25% since January 2016 (“About Us,” n.d.). The addition of Palladin security’s daily patrols and dedicated hours by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Off-Duty Program have illustrated the value of increased district monitoring. More details are located at www.80WattDistrict.com
Until 2008, North Highlands was served by two school districts, Rio Linda Union School District which covered K-6 grades and Grant Joint Union High School District for grades 7-12. In 2008, the two districts merged, creating the Twin Rivers Unified School District. The local high school is Highlands High School, which is surrounded by quite a few elementary and charter schools. North Highlands is a low-income residential housing area with some commercial and industrial regions around the former McClellan Air Force Base, now a civilian business center and airport called McClellan Business Park. In 1995, McClellan Air Force Base was identified for closure as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) IV process. North Highlands has a high crime rate for an area of its size, and a homicide rate four times the city itself. The main streets are Watt Avenue, Elkhorn Blvd, and Walerga road.
Choose the Right Nursing College near North Highlands CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in North Highlands CA.
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