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Nursing School Degree Programs Bellflower California

How to Find the Best RN Course near Bellflower CA

Bellflower CA Registered Nurse with Physician and PatientSearching for the right nursing college near Bellflower CA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Bellflower CA RN taking vital signs of patient

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Bellflower CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Bellflower California RN assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve 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 typically a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Bellflower CA woman attending RN classes onlineAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some Bellflower CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have determined 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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) as well as 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 imperative 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 practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to find out 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Bellflower CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Right Bellflower CA Nursing School

Bellflower California nurse holding medical chartChoosing the right nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community.  By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final 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.