How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Course near Baldwin Park CA
Choosing the best nursing college near Baldwin Park CA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree choices that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Baldwin Park CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Baldwin Park California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Baldwin Park CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Baldwin Park CA or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Baldwin Park 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 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 superb reputation within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Baldwin Park CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Baldwin Park CA RN Program
Picking the ideal nursing school is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Baldwin Park CA.