How to Pick a Nursing College near Petrolia California
Choosing the right nursing program near Petrolia CA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Petrolia CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help 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 along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Petrolia 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 job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically 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.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Petrolia CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each 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 likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Petrolia CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Petrolia CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Petrolia 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) along with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Petrolia 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 schools 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Petrolia CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Petrolia CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Petrolia CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Petrolia 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.
Petrolia (formerly, New Jerusalem and Petrolea) is an unincorporated community in Humboldt County, California, 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Cape Mendocino, at an elevation of 121 feet (37 m), within ZIP Code 95558, and area code 707. Petrolia was the site of the first oil well drilled in California.
Petrolia has an estimated population of 300-500 people within a 15-mile radius. It is located in the Mattole Valley, part of the Lost Coast region, one of the largest wilderness areas and the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the continental United States. Petrolia's isolation is due to its position on the rocky, treacherous coastline adjacent to the King Range mountains that isolate this area from mainland California and continue to leave the area almost completely undeveloped.
A travel magazine has called this area "too lovely to be believed, perhaps too beautiful to last." It has been recognized as the top "still wild" place in California. The area is the only significant stretch of California without a shoreline highway, and so far has "thus escaped tourism's aggressive paws."
Select the Right Nursing College near Petrolia CA
Choosing the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Petrolia CA.
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