How to Pick a Nursing Program near Redwood City California
Finding the best nursing college near Redwood City CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Redwood City CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Redwood City CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Redwood City CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Redwood City CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Redwood City CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Redwood City CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Redwood City CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Redwood City CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Redwood City CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Redwood City CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Redwood City 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.
Redwood City, California
Redwood City is a city on the San Francisco Peninsula in Northern California's Bay Area, approximately 27 miles (43 km) south of San Francisco, and 24 miles (39 km) northwest of San Jose. Redwood City's history spans its earliest inhabitation by the Ohlone people to being a port for lumber and other goods. The county seat of San Mateo County, it is the home of several technology companies such as Box, Informatica, Oracle, Evernote, Wealthfront, and Electronic Arts. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 76,815. The Port of Redwood City is the only deepwater port on San Francisco Bay south of San Francisco. Redwood City is the location of the San Mateo County Jail, for both women and men. The Malibu Grand Prix long time landmark was recently demolished along with the city's only Mini Golf, Go-Kart, Video Game Arcade, and Batting Cages. Malibu Grand Prix's previous location is currently the construction site of a new additional Jail and Inmate housing facility. The city has a motto "Climate Best By Government Test" which is a reference to it being one of the top German scouted scientific climates and the city was one of the locations mapped by them during their testing and data collection. The Hetch Hetchy water pipeline runs through Redwood City and supplies a vast majority of the surrounding area with low grain (+/− 3 grains) rated water.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 34.7 square miles (90 km2), of which 19.4 square miles (50 km2) is land and 15.2 square miles (39 km2) (43.91%) is water. A major watercourse draining much of Redwood City is Redwood Creek, to which several significant river deltas connect, the largest of which is Westpoint Slough.
Redwood City stretches from the San Francisco Bay towards the Santa Cruz Mountains between San Carlos to the northwest and Atherton to the southeast with Woodside to the southwest. It is divided by Highway 101 and further inland El Camino Real on the northwest/southeast axis and Woodside Road on the north-northeast/south-southwest axis. Locally, the former two are regarded as north/south and the latter east/west, as 101 and El Camino connects Redwood City to San Francisco and San Jose and Woodside Road runs from San Francisco Bay to the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Redwood City CA
Deciding on the ideal nursing program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Redwood City CA.
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