How to Choose the Best RN College near Boyle Heights CA
Selecting the right nursing college near Boyle Heights CA may seem like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Boyle Heights CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Boyle Heights California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 school for many Boyle Heights CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Boyle Heights CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in California for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Boyle Heights 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Boyle Heights CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Boyle Heights CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Boyle Heights CA RN School
Enrolling in the right nursing school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Boyle Heights CA.