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Nursing School Degree Programs Bell California

How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Bell CA

Bell CA Registered Nurse with Physician and PatientSelecting the best nursing school near Bell CA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Bell CA Nurse taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Bell CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Bell California Nurse 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Bell California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

Bell CA student attending nursing school onlineAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many Bell CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Schools

Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Bell CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 important 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 practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bell 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bell CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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 mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Bell CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Bell CA Nursing School

Bell California RN holding medical chartEnrolling in the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community.  By using 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bell CA.