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Nursing School Degree Programs Bell California

How to Enroll In the Best Nursing School near Bell CA

Bell CA RN with Physician and PatientFinding the right nursing school near Bell 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 presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Bell CA RN taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Bell 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 exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

Bell California RN assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Bell California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive 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 might desire 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Bell CA woman attending nursing school onlineEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Bell CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Bell CA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending 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. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact 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 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Bell CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Bell CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Bell CA RN School

Bell California nurse holding medical chartChoosing the ideal nursing program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bell CA.