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Nursing School Degree Programs Bell Gardens California

How to Enroll In an Accredited Nursing Program near Bell Gardens CA

Bell Gardens CA Registered Nurse with Physician and PatientLocating the right nursing college near Bell Gardens CA may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Bell Gardens CA Nurse taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Bell Gardens CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

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

Nursing Degrees Available

Bell Gardens California Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option available 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 just 2 years, or advance to attain 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 Bell Gardens California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Classes

Bell Gardens CA student attending nursing school onlineAttending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. 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 classes for many Bell Gardens CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very 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 hectic schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential component of a Bell Gardens CA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

questions to ask Bell Gardens CA nursing training programsOnce you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Bell Gardens CA or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bell Gardens 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bell Gardens CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Bell Gardens CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Right Bell Gardens CA RN Program

Bell Gardens CA nurse holding babySelecting the ideal nursing college is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community.  By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 Bell Gardens CA.