How to Choose a Nursing College near West Sacramento California
Searching for the right nursing college near West Sacramento CA may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing school. There are several key additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the West Sacramento CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in West Sacramento CA may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from in West Sacramento CA to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain 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 brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by California 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 later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California 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 may desire 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in West Sacramento CA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college in the West Sacramento CA area or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each 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 likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training in West Sacramento CA and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in West Sacramento CA, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in West Sacramento CA, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some West Sacramento CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 displeased 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of West Sacramento CA contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with West Sacramento CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
About West Sacramento California
West Sacramento, California
West Sacramento (also known as West Sac) is a city in Yolo County, California. Despite the city being contiguous with Sacramento they are both separated by the Sacramento River which also separates Sacramento and Yolo counties. It is a fast-growing community; the population was 48,744 at the 2010 census, up from 31,615 at the 2000 census. The traditional industrial center of the region since the Gold Rush era, West Sacramento is home to a diverse economy and is one of the area's top four employment centers.
West Sacramento is part of the Sacramento–Arden Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area which has a population (2000) of approximately 1,796,857. Major industries to the region include agriculture, government, and transportation.
In 1844, John Schwartz, a Flemish traveler, was the first Euro-American to permanently settle in the area of West Sacramento, which at that time was part of Mexico. He built a shack on the west bank of the Sacramento River six miles (10 km) south of its connection with the American River. John, with the help of his brother George, founded a salmon fishery along the river. In addition to the fishery, they also found the soil to be fertile and began farming and raising livestock. The announcement of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 brought a multitude of miners to the region. This also coincided with the end of the Mexican-American War.
In 1846, a man named James McDowell bought 600 acres (240 ha) from John Schwartz. With his wife, Margaret, and their three daughters, McDowell settled in the area we know today as Broderick. The McDowell family experienced first-hand the violence that the gold rush era brought with it. In May 1849, James McDowell was shot and killed in a barroom argument that he had supposedly started. With the loss of the sole supporter of the McDowell family, Margaret needed to find a way to provide for her family.
Choose the Right RN Program near West Sacramento CA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in West Sacramento CA.
More Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 625