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Nursing School Degree Programs Aliso Viejo California

How to Find the Right Nursing Training Program near Aliso Viejo CA

Aliso Viejo CA RN with Doctor and PatientFinding the right nursing college near Aliso Viejo CA may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Aliso Viejo CA Nurse taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

Aliso Viejo California RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Aliso Viejo California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Aliso Viejo CA student attending nursing school onlineAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Aliso Viejo CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an indispensable part of a Aliso Viejo CA medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

questions to ask Aliso Viejo CA nursing training schoolsOnce you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Aliso Viejo CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, 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 select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Aliso Viejo CA healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Aliso Viejo CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Aliso Viejo CA Nursing Program

Aliso Viejo CA RN holding newbornChoosing the ideal nursing college is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community.  By using 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Aliso Viejo CA.