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Nursing School Degree Programs Bell California

How to Choose an Accredited RN Training Program near Bell CA

Bell CA Registered Nurse with Doctor and PatientSelecting the best nursing college near Bell CA may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Bell CA RN taking vital signs of woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Bell CA hospitals, private 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 specific 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
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

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

Bell California Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief 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 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 advance 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Bell California student attending RN classes onlineEnrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Bell CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Bell CA or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bell CA healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Bell CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Bell CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right Bell CA RN Program

Picking the right nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community.  By utilizing 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bell CA.