How to Find an Accredited RN College near Buena Park CA
Finding the right nursing program near Buena Park CA may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Buena Park CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available 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 two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Buena Park California area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by California community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ 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 usually a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain 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 conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Buena Park CA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable component of a Buena Park CA medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Buena Park CA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Buena Park 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 Buena Park CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Buena Park CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Buena Park CA RN School
Selecting the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Buena Park CA.