Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Point Arena CA

How to Pick a Nursing School near Point Arena California

Point Arena CA pediatric nurse holding babySearching for the right nursing college near Point Arena CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Point Arena CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Point Arena CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, 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:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are multiple degrees available 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 just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Point Arena CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving 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 obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Training

Point Arena CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Point Arena CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 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 amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 additional prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Classes

female student attending nursing school online in Point Arena CAAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Point Arena CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Point Arena CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Point Arena 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. 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 provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 speak with some Point Arena 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Point Arena CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Point Arena CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Point Arena CA?

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

Point Arena, California

Point Arena (formerly, Punta Arenas and Puntas Arenas)[3] is a small coastal city in Mendocino County, California, United States. Point Arena is located 32 miles (51 km) west of Hopland,[5] at an elevation of 118 feet (36 m).[3] The population was 449 at the 2010 census, down from 474 at the 2000 census, making it one of the smallest incorporated cities in the state. The Point Arena Census county division has 3,915 residents, as of 2010.[6]

Its main street comprises part of State Route 1, California's coastal artery. Along with a number of other Mendocino County coastal communities, Point Arena is associated with the hippie and subsequent counterculture groups. Reportedly, the economy is largely geared toward servicing the summertime tourist industry. The city is near the headquarters of the tribal lands of Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria and adjacent to the recently formed Point Arena Stornetta Public Lands National Monument. Hiking trails with coastal prairie and ocean views can be accessed at the Point Arena City Hall. At Arena Cove Historic District and pier, huge ocean front bluffs show the power of the interface of tectonic plates.

The city itself is built around a small natural cove, used as a harbor, and is located about a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of the actual Arena Point, a narrow peninsula jutting around 0.3 miles (0.48 km) into the Pacific Ocean. This is the location of the Point Arena Lighthouse, at 115 feet (35 m) the tallest lighthouse on the West coast of the United States. The lighthouse is also the closest location on the mainland (excluding Alaska) to Honolulu, Hawaii at a distance of 2,353 miles (3,787 km).

Select the Right Nursing College near Point Arena CA

Point Arena CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babySelecting the right nursing school is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Point Arena CA.

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