How to Pick the Right RN College near Santa Cruz California
Finding the right nursing program near Santa Cruz CA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
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There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Santa Cruz CA area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 job market.
- Master’s Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an integral part of a Santa Cruz CA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses deliver primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Santa Cruz CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly 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 accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many Santa Cruz CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Santa Cruz CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Santa Cruz 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Santa Cruz 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 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 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 good reputation within the Santa Cruz CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Santa Cruz CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Where to Find RN Schools Near Me Santa Cruz California
Picking the right nursing program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Where to Find RN Schools Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Low Cost RN Courses Near Me.. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Santa Cruz CA.
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Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz (/ˈsæntə ˈkruːz/; Spanish for Holy Cross) is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California. As of 2018 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Santa Cruz's population at 64,725.
Situated on the northern edge of Monterey Bay, about 32 mi (51 km) south of San Jose and 75 mi (120 km) south of San Francisco, the city is part of the 12-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area.
Santa Cruz is known for its moderate climate, natural environment, coastline, redwood forests, alternative community lifestyles, and socially liberal leanings. It is also home to the University of California, Santa Cruz, a premier research institution and educational hub, as well as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an oceanfront amusement park operating continuously since 1907.
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