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Nursing School Degree Programs Anaheim California

How to Pick the Right Nursing Course near Anaheim CA

Anaheim CA Nurse with Doctor and PatientFinding the right nursing program near Anaheim CA may seem like a complicated project, 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 obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Anaheim CA RN taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Anaheim CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

Anaheim California RN assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees available 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Anaheim California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Degrees

Anaheim California woman attending RN classes onlineEnrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some Anaheim CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Anaheim CA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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 confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Anaheim 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 considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Anaheim CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Anaheim CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Anaheim CA Nursing School

Selecting the ideal nursing school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community.  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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Anaheim CA.