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Nursing School Degree Programs Arden Arcade California

How to Select an Accredited RN Course near Arden Arcade CA

Arden Arcade CA RN with Doctor and PatientSelecting the best nursing college near Arden Arcade CA may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Arden Arcade CA RN taking blood pressure of woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Arden Arcade CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job 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 specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing 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), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Arden Arcade California RN assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available 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 preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Programs

Arden Arcade CA student attending RN college onlineEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Arden Arcade CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Arden Arcade CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many 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 workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 colleges you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Arden Arcade CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask 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 Nursing Program

Arden Arcade California nurse holding patient chartChoosing the right nursing degree program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when picking a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arden Arcade CA.