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Nursing School Degree Programs Arden Arcade California

How to Select the Right RN Course near Arden Arcade CA

Arden Arcade CA RN with Doctor and PatientFinding the best nursing program near Arden Arcade CA may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Arden Arcade CA RN taking blood pressure of woman

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Arden Arcade CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

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

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

Nursing Degrees

Arden Arcade California Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a nurse. And 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 2 years, or advance 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 Arden Arcade California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

Arden Arcade CA student attending nursing classes onlineAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Arden Arcade CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Arden Arcade CA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality 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 criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Arden Arcade CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements 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 placing of students in internships.

Choose the Best Arden Arcade CA RN School

Arden Arcade California RN holding medical chartPicking the right nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arden Arcade CA.