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Nursing School Degree Programs Baldwin Park California

How to Pick an Accredited Nursing Training Program near Baldwin Park CA

Baldwin Park CA RN with Doctor and PatientSearching for the best nursing school near Baldwin Park CA may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Baldwin Park CA RN taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Baldwin Park CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing 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 typically 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

Baldwin Park California Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There are several degree options offered 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions 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 made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Classes

Baldwin Park CA student attending nursing classes onlineAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get 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 specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Baldwin Park CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a Nurse?

Nurses are an important component of a Baldwin Park CA medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

questions to ask Baldwin Park CA nursing degree collegesOnce you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Baldwin Park CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 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 a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Baldwin Park CA healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Baldwin Park CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Baldwin Park CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Baldwin Park CA RN Program

Baldwin Park CA pediatric nurse holding newbornChoosing the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community.  By using 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Baldwin Park CA.