Home >> California >> Bellflower >> Nursing Degrees


Nursing School Degree Programs Bellflower California

How to Find an Accredited Nursing Course near Bellflower CA

Bellflower CA Nurse with Doctor and PatientSearching for the best nursing program near Bellflower CA may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Bellflower CA Nurse taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Bellflower CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

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

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

Bellflower California Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 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 Bellflower California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Degrees

Bellflower CA woman attending RN classes onlineEnrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Bellflower CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

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, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession out of 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 humanistic aspect of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

what to ask Bellflower CA nursing degree collegesOnce you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Bellflower CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check 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 programs 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bellflower CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Bellflower CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Best Bellflower CA RN School

Bellflower CA RN holding babySelecting the ideal nursing college is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community.  By using our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bellflower CA.