How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Long Beach California
Locating the best nursing college near Long Beach CA may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly 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 must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Long Beach CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Long Beach CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain 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 four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can 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 Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Long Beach 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Long Beach CA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Long Beach CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Long Beach CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Long Beach CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Long Beach CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Long Beach CA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward 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.
Attending a Nursing School near Long Beach CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Long Beach 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.
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city on the Pacific Coast of the United States, within the Greater Los Angeles area of Southern California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. It is the 39th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California. Long Beach is the second-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the third largest in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego. Long Beach is a charter city.
The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the United States and is among the world's largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a progressively declining oil industry with minor wells located both directly beneath the city as well as offshore. Manufacturing sectors include those in aircraft, automotive parts, electronic equipment, audiovisual equipment, petrochemicals, precision metals and home furnishings.
Long Beach lies in the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County and borders Orange County. Downtown Long Beach is approximately 22 miles (35 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, though the two cities share an official border for several miles.
Select the Right Nursing College near Long Beach CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Long Beach CA.
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