How to Pick a Nursing Program near Bell Gardens California
Searching for the best nursing program near Bell Gardens CA may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know 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 acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Bell Gardens CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bell Gardens CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Bell Gardens CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Bell Gardens CA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Bell Gardens CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bell Gardens 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 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 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 Bell Gardens CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Bell Gardens CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Bell Gardens CA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Bell Gardens CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bell Gardens California area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bell Gardens, California
Bell Gardens is notable for being one of only six Los Angeles County cities (out of 88 total) to permit casino gambling (the others being Inglewood, Gardena, Commerce, Compton, and Hawaiian Gardens). Dice games and slot machines are forbidden by state law.
The city of Bell Gardens has a Native American history dating back thousands of years. In the late 18th century, when the area was associated with a large amount of land situated along the lower basin of the Rio Hondo area in Los Angeles County, Bell Gardens was once a bustling agricultural center for Californios during the Spanish Empire, 1509–1823, the Mexican government, 1823–1848, and the United States, after the Mexican-American war concluded in 1848.
Among those early Spanish settlers was one of California’s first families, the Lugos. While stationed at Mission San Antonio de Padua near Salinas, California, Francisco Lugo’s son Antonio Maria Lugo was born in 1783. In 1810 Antonio Lugo, a 35-year-old corporal in the Spanish army, was given the 29,514-acre (119.44 km2) Rancho San Antonio land grant. The land grant was a reward for his military service during the establishment of the Franciscan Missions in California while being the attendant of colonization for the area. Today the grant includes the cities of Bell Gardens, Bell, Maywood, Vernon, Huntington Park, Walnut Park, Cudahy, South Gate, Lynwood and Commerce.
Select the Right Nursing School near Bell Gardens CA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 RN in Bell Gardens CA.
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