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Nursing School Degree Programs Beverly Hills California

How to Select the Right RN Course near Beverly Hills CA

Beverly Hills CA Nurse with Doctor and PatientLocating the best nursing school near Beverly Hills CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Beverly Hills CA RN taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Beverly Hills CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing 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 complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

Beverly Hills California RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Beverly Hills California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 wish 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has earned 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Beverly Hills CA student attending RN classes onlineAttending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Beverly Hills CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Beverly Hills CA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Beverly Hills 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 dissatisfied 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 Beverly Hills CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Beverly Hills CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Best Beverly Hills CA Nursing School

Beverly Hills California nurse holding medical chartSelecting the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community.  By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Beverly Hills CA.