How to Choose a Nursing School near Woodland Hills California
Locating the right nursing program near Woodland Hills CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know 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 proper 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 ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Woodland Hills CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Woodland Hills 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 position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive 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 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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 change from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain 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, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Woodland Hills CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates 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 becoming a more popular way to receive 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 amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some Woodland Hills CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with 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 Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Woodland Hills CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Woodland Hills 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Woodland Hills 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Woodland Hills CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Woodland Hills CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Woodland Hills CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Woodland Hills 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.
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles
Woodland Hills is an affluent neighborhood in the southwestern region of the San Fernando Valley which is located east of Calabasas and west of Tarzana. On the north it is bordered by West Hills, Canoga Park, and Winnetka, and on the south by the Santa Monica mountains.
Some neighborhoods are in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Running east–west through the community are U.S. Route 101 (Ventura Freeway) and Ventura Boulevard, whose western terminus is at Valley Circle Boulevard in Woodland Hills.
The area was inhabited for approximately 8,000 years by Native Americans of the Fernandeño-Tataviam and Chumash-Venturaño tribes that lived in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills and close to the Arroyo Calabasas (Calabasas Creek) tributary of the Los Angeles River in present-day Woodland Hills. The first Europeans to enter the San Fernando Valley were the Portola Expedition in 1769, exploring 'Alta California' for Spanish missions and settlements locations. Seeing it from present-day Sepulveda Pass, the oak savanna inspired them to call the area El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de Los Encinos (Valley of St. Catherine of Bononia of the Oaks). The Mission San Fernando Rey de España (Mission San Fernando) was established in 1797 and controlled the Valley's land, including future Woodland Hills.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Woodland Hills CA
Enrolling in the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Woodland Hills CA.
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