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Nursing School Degree Programs Bell California

How to Find an Accredited RN School near Bell CA

Bell CA Nurse with Doctor and PatientChoosing the right nursing college near Bell CA may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional things to explore 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 available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Bell CA Nurse taking blood pressure of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Bell CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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

Bell California RN assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option available 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 continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bell California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered 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 use 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 usually a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has received 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Schools

Bell California student attending nursing classes onlineEnrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Bell CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Bell CA or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a certain 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 provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 imperative 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements 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.

Enroll in the Right Bell CA Nursing School

Deciding on the right nursing program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bell CA.