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Nursing School Degree Programs Bellflower California

How to Pick the Best RN Training Program near Bellflower CA

Bellflower CA Nurse with Physician and PatientFinding the right nursing program near Bellflower CA may feel like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Bellflower CA RN taking vital signs of woman

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Bellflower CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly 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 Degree Options

Bellflower California Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bellflower California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she 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 make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Degrees

Bellflower CA woman attending nursing college onlineEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Bellflower CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an essential part of a Bellflower CA medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many 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 spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

questions to ask Bellflower CA nursing training schoolsNow that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Bellflower CA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.

  • 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 confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers 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 assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bellflower 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 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 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 favorable reputation within the Bellflower CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Bellflower CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right Bellflower CA Nursing Program

Bellflower CA RN holding newbornChoosing the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community.  By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bellflower CA.