How to Find the Right RN Degree Program near Bell CA
Locating the best nursing school near Bell CA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Bell CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bell California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually 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.
After 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Bell CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Become a Nurse?Nurses are an essential part of a Bell CA medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, including home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide primary patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Bell CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in California for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to check 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 colleges 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 essential 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 CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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 a working relationship with Bell CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Bell CA RN School
Picking the right nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bell CA.