Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Potter Valley CA

How to Select a Nursing School near Potter Valley California

Potter Valley CA pediatric nurse holding babySearching for the right nursing program near Potter Valley CA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order 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 determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Potter Valley CA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Potter Valley CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

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 receive 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 Potter Valley CA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may wish 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has attained 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Courses

Potter Valley CA geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Potter Valley CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 training course 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 prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Potter Valley CAEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Potter Valley CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Potter Valley CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Potter Valley CA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Potter 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Potter Valley CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Potter Valley CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Potter Valley CA?

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

Potter Valley, California

Potter Valley is a census-designated place[3] in Mendocino County, California, United States.[2] It is located 18 miles (29 km) north-northeast of Ukiah,[4] at an elevation of 948 feet (289 m).[2] It is located at the headwaters of the East Fork of the Russian River. The CDP population was 646 at the 2010 census.

In 1852, when William and Thomas Potter and Mose Briggs first entered what would become known as Potter Valley, they were searching for the headwaters of the Russian River from their base in Sonoma County. The Pomo people called it Ba-lo Kai. They found three Pomo villages (each about 500 people strong), the Russian headwaters, and a lush valley with wild oats "stirrup high". Eventually the Potters returned to settle there, and the valley became known by the American ranchers' name.[5]

In addition to his famous Ridgewood Ranch, Charles S. Howard, the owner of the racehorse Seabiscuit, owned a ranch in Potter Valley where he ran cattle and occasionally secluded Seabiscuit when visitors became bothersome.[7]

Select the Right Nursing Program near Potter Valley CA

Potter Valley CA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babySelecting the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Potter Valley CA.

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