How to Enroll In the Right RN College near Bellflower CA
Finding the best nursing school near Bellflower CA may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you don't know 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 receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Bellflower CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries 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 offered by California community colleges. It readies 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 later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive 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 prior 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Bellflower CA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities 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 active schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an indispensable part of a Bellflower CA medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if 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 probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent 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 services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bellflower 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bellflower CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain 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 Bellflower CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Bellflower CA Nursing School
Selecting the ideal nursing program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, 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 list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bellflower CA.