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Nursing School Degree Programs Boyle Heights California

How to Choose the Best RN Degree Program near Boyle Heights CA

Boyle Heights CA RN with Physician and PatientChoosing the best nursing college near Boyle Heights CA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don't know 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 acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Boyle Heights CA Nurse taking blood pressure of woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Boyle Heights CA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty 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. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing 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), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and typically 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 Nurse assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations 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 usually a two year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive 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 prior 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Classes

Boyle Heights CA woman attending nursing classes onlineEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Boyle Heights CA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Nursing?

Nurses are an essential component of a Boyle Heights CA medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, 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 often go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, including nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

questions to ask Boyle Heights CA nursing degree schoolsOnce you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Boyle Heights CA or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check 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 programs you are looking at 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 superb reputation within the Boyle Heights CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Boyle Heights CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Best Boyle Heights CA Nursing Program

Boyle Heights CA RN holding babyChoosing the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Boyle Heights CA.