How to Pick an Accredited RN College near Beverly Hills CA
Choosing the best nursing school near Beverly Hills CA may seem like a challenging project, especially if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Beverly Hills CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
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 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Beverly Hills California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by California community colleges. It preps 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 subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular 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 call for a certain 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 accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Beverly Hills CA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Beverly Hills CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of 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 manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Beverly Hills 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Beverly Hills CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Beverly Hills CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Beverly Hills CA Nursing Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college 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 produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Beverly Hills CA.