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Nursing School Degree Programs Bellflower California

How to Select the Right Nursing School near Bellflower CA

Bellflower CA Registered Nurse with Doctor and PatientFinding the best nursing program near Bellflower CA may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Bellflower CA RN taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Bellflower CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Bellflower California RN assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bellflower 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 position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain 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 want to advance 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Schools

Bellflower CA student attending RN college onlineAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Bellflower CA students. Regarding 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 minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an indispensable component of a Bellflower CA medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

questions to ask Bellflower CA nursing degree programsNow that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Bellflower CA or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as 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 sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.

  • 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist 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 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bellflower 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 programs you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Bellflower CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Bellflower CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Best Bellflower CA Nursing Program

Bellflower CA nurse holding babyPicking the ideal nursing program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community.  By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bellflower CA.