How to Find an Accredited RN College near Bellflower CA
Locating the best nursing school near Bellflower CA may seem like a complex project, especially 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 acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Bellflower CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions 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 complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six 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 normally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Bellflower CA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an essential component of a Bellflower CA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Bellflower CA or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in California for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations 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 judgments 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 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 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 attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 too. Find out if the schools have associations with Bellflower CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Bellflower CA Nursing Program
Choosing the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bellflower CA.