How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Summerland California
Searching for the right nursing school near Summerland CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Summerland CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Summerland CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain 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 offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Summerland CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Summerland CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Summerland CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Summerland 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Summerland 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 schools you are looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Summerland CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Summerland CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Summerland CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Summerland 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.
Tar from natural oil seeps in the Summerland area was long used as a sealant, both by the native Chumash peoples and by the Spanish builders of the Mission Santa Barbara, who used it as waterproofing for the roof. In 1883, spiritualist and real estate speculator H.L. Williams founded the town of Summerland. In 1888 he divided his land tract, on a moderately sloping hill facing the ocean, into numerous parcels. He promoted the tiny lots – 25 x 60 – to fellow Spiritualists, who bought them in quantity and moved to the area. The spiritual center of the town was a Spiritualist Church, with séance room, demolished only when Highway 101 was put through in the 1950s.
In the 1890s, oil development began in the coastal area of Summerland, at the Summerland Oil Field. Numerous wooden oil derricks were built on the beach, and on piers stretching into the ocean. The world's first offshore oil well, drilled into the sea floor, was at this location. Production at this beach area peaked before 1910, although most of the rigs remained into the 1920s. Peak production from the onshore portion of the Summerland Field did not actually occur until 1930; the last oil was pumped from the nearshore region in 1940. In 1957, Standard Oil Co. of California (now Chevron) found the large Summerland Offshore Oil Field, several miles offshore, which was shut down in the 1990s.
In August 2015, Summerland's beach was closed for several days by County of Santa Barbara health officials due to large amounts of oil washed onshore. Local residents suspect the petroleum source is a leaking capped oil well ("the Becker wellhead") in the tidal area below Lookout Park.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Summerland CA
Choosing the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 licensed RN in Summerland CA.
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