How to Choose a Nursing Program in Sylmar California
Locating the right nursing program in Sylmar CA may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision 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 medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Sylmar CA. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Sylmar CA with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Sylmar CA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Sylmar CA healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Sylmar CA 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 might wish 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Sylmar CA board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Sylmar CA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Sylmar CA to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Sylmar CA healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Sylmar CA 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 previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Sylmar CA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 regional Sylmar 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Sylmar CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Sylmar CA clinical environment. Almost all California nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree in Sylmar CA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sylmar CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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