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Nursing School Degree Programs Arden Arcade California

How to Find an Accredited RN Training Program near Arden Arcade CA

Arden Arcade CA RN with Physician and PatientChoosing the best nursing school near Arden Arcade CA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Arden Arcade CA RN taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Arden Arcade CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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.

Nursing Degrees Available

Arden Arcade California Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Arden Arcade California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance 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 generally a two 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.

When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Degrees

Arden Arcade California student attending RN college onlineAttending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Arden Arcade CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Programs

Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Arden Arcade CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, 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 select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things 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 evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Arden Arcade 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 looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Arden Arcade CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Arden Arcade CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Arden Arcade CA RN School

Deciding on the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community.  By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arden Arcade CA.