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Nursing School Degree Programs Boyle Heights California

How to Select the Best Nursing Degree Program near Boyle Heights CA

Boyle Heights CA Nurse with Physician and PatientFinding the right nursing college near Boyle Heights CA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Boyle Heights CA Nurse taking blood pressure of patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Boyle Heights CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Boyle Heights California RN assisting surgeon

There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And 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 short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Boyle Heights California area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain 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 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Classes

Boyle Heights California woman attending nursing college onlineAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Boyle Heights CA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Boyle Heights CA or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 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 superb reputation within the Boyle Heights CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Boyle Heights CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Boyle Heights CA Nursing Program

Picking the right nursing program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, 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 both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Boyle Heights CA.