How to Choose the Best RN Training Program near Oakland California
Locating the right nursing college near Oakland CA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Oakland CA area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an indispensable part of a Oakland CA medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Oakland CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Oakland CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Oakland CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Oakland CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oakland 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 programs you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Oakland CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Oakland CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
What Do I Need To Become A Registered Nurse Oakland California
Choosing the right nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in What Do I Need To Become A Registered Nurse and wanting more information on the topic Accredited MSN Degree Programs Online.. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Oakland CA.
More California Nursing Locations
Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 428,827 as of 2018[update], it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.
Oakland's territory covers what was once a mosaic of California coastal terrace prairie, oak woodland, and north coastal scrub. Its land served as a rich resource when its hillside oak and redwood timber were logged to build San Francisco. Oakland's fertile flatland soils helped it become a prolific agricultural region. In the late 1860s, Oakland was selected as the western terminal of the Transcontinental Railroad. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, many San Francisco citizens moved to Oakland, enlarging the city's population, increasing its housing stock, and improving its infrastructure. It continued to grow in the 20th century with its busy port, shipyards, and a thriving automobile manufacturing industry.
The earliest known inhabitants were the Huchiun Indians, who lived there for thousands of years. The Huchiun belonged to a linguistic grouping later called the Ohlone (a Miwok word meaning "western people"). In Oakland, they were concentrated around Lake Merritt and Temescal Creek, a stream that enters the San Francisco Bay at Emeryville.
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