How to Find the Right Nursing College in Bellflower California
Finding the best nursing college near Bellflower CA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bellflower CA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Bellflower CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Bellflower CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bellflower CA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Further 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 requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bellflower CA. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bellflower CA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in California. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Bellflower CA home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use 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 within California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Bellflower CA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, 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 other programs.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Bellflower CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bellflower CA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Bellflower CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bellflower CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Bellflower CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Bellflower CA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bellflower CA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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