How to Find the Right Nursing Program near North Hills California
Searching for the best nursing college near North Hills CA may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely North Hills CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with 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
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered 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 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the North Hills CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 syllabus adequately 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 training can be acquired at North Hills CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many North Hills CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near North Hills CA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in North Hills 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some North Hills 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 schools 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the North Hills CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with North Hills CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near North Hills CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater North Hills 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 Hills, Los Angeles
Main thoroughfares include: Sepulveda Boulevard and Roscoe Boulevard; Hayvenhurst, Woodley, and Haskell Avenues; and Lassen, Plummer, and Nordhoff Streets. North Hills is bounded by Balboa Boulevard and Bull Creek ("the wash") on the west, Devonshire and Lassen Street on the north, the Pacoima Wash on the east, and Roscoe Boulevard on the south.
In the late 18th and 19th century the site was part of the Mission San Fernando Rey de España lands, until 1846 when it became part of the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando of Andrés Pico, near the Andrés Pico Adobe. Mission Acres was an agricultural community made by early developers who created 1 acre plots for agricultural activities, with irrigation supplied by the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913.
The Californio Sepulveda[disambiguation needed] family, going back to the founding of the Pueblo of Los Angeles, is the source of various Los Angeles place-names, including the post-war community of Sepulveda. Sepulveda Boulevard is the primary north/south street through North Hills, crossing Sepulveda Pass to the south.
Pick the Right Nursing College near North Hills CA
Selecting the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in North Hills CA.
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