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Nursing School Degree Programs Bell Gardens California

How to Pick an Accredited Nursing School near Bell Gardens CA

Bell Gardens CA Nurse with Physician and PatientFinding the best nursing college near Bell Gardens CA may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly 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 acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Bell Gardens CA Nurse taking vital signs of woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Bell Gardens CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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 Degree Options

Bell Gardens California RN assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And in order 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 two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bell Gardens California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Bell Gardens CA woman attending nursing school onlineEnrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Bell Gardens CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an integral component of a Bell Gardens CA medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses deliver primary patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

questions to ask Bell Gardens CA nursing training programsNow that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Bell Gardens CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. 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 lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet 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 each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bell Gardens CA healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 superb reputation within the Bell Gardens CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Bell Gardens CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Bell Gardens CA RN Program

Bell Gardens CA nurse holding newbornPicking the right nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community.  By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bell Gardens CA.