To start your goal of becoming a registered nurse, choosing a nursing program is very crucial. Doing so will set a good foundation in order for you to be fully equipped with the necessary nursing skills that would help you in providing proper care of patients and eventually land you a high paying job. Searching for an appropriate nursing program may be challenging since there are several to choose from. In order to guide you, here are some tips on how to find the best nursing programs in California.
Verify Proper Accreditations
One way of determining a suitable nursing program for you is to look for accreditation of nursing schools. An accredited nursing school means that they c
an provide quality education within the set standards of the state. The school should have a maintained accreditation from the State Board of Registered Nursing as well as other relevant organizations. You can easily check this by going to the California BRN website: http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/rnprograms.shtml.
Check The NCLEX-RN Pass Rates
The NCLEX-RN is the test of nursing knowledge, skills and abilities and provides a nursing license upon completion. It is then important for a nursing program to provide you with high quality nursing education in order to pass this exam. A way of ensuring this would be to check their recent NCLEX-RN pass rates. The number of previous students that were able to pass the exam would give you an idea if the nursing program were effective in supplying the appropriate educational requirements. Consider those schools with at least 70% rate on the first attempt. A list of the most recent pass rate results is available in this link: http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/passrates.shtml. Asides from the NCLEX-RN pass rate, take into consideration the nursing program's graduation and exam rate for further evaluation of its education quality.
Look for Awards and Distinctions
A plus factor in finding the best California nursing program is the schools recognition and merits. This provides you an idea how competitive the school is in terms of providing the top-notch standards of nursing education. An example of this would be the University of California San Francisco (http://nursing.ucsf.edu/). Last year, US News ranked UCSF fourth among the best nursing schools and colleges in the United States (http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/graduate-schools/health/nursing.aspx). Other schools recognized to have high quality nursing programs in California are Berkley, UCLA, UCI and Davis.
Consider Your Preferences
Taking into account your needs may be one of the crucial steps in how to find the best nursing programs in California. You should decide whether you are comfortable with an on-campus nursing program or online programs that are offered by some schools such as Kaplan University (http://online.kaplanuniversity.edu/nursing/Pages/School_of_Nursing.aspx). Include in your list of preferences your planned budget to discern which schools have tuition fees that would suit it. In addition, bear in mind your time and find a school that would avoid any schedule problems for you since these programs take years to finish. To conclude, using your preference as a guide together with the aforementioned tips will help you choose the most convenient and suitable nursing program for you to become a registered nurse.