Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Penn Valley CA

How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Penn Valley California

Penn Valley CA pediatric nurse holding babySelecting the right nursing school near Penn Valley CA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Penn Valley CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Penn Valley CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Penn Valley CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 might 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

Penn Valley CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Penn Valley CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

Online Nursing Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Penn Valley CAEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Penn Valley CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Penn Valley CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Penn Valley CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Penn Valley CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Penn Valley CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Penn Valley CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Penn Valley CA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Penn Valley 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.

Penn Valley, California

The 2010 United States Census[4] reported that Penn Valley had a population of 1,621. The population density was 764.1 people per square mile (295.0/km²). The racial makeup of Penn Valley was 1,434 (88.5%) White, 9 (0.6%) African American, 34 (2.1%) Native American, 23 (1.4%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 31 (1.9%) from other races, and 90 (5.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 143 persons (8.8%).

There were 628 households, out of which 195 (31.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 301 (47.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 91 (14.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 41 (6.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 36 (5.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 3 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 163 households (26.0%) were made up of individuals and 74 (11.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57. There were 433 families (68.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.02.

The population was spread out with 363 people (22.4%) under the age of 18, 136 people (8.4%) aged 18 to 24, 321 people (19.8%) aged 25 to 44, 506 people (31.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 295 people (18.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.

Select the Right Nursing Degree near Penn Valley CA

Penn Valley CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyEnrolling in the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Penn Valley CA.

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