How to Choose a Nursing College near Akiak Alaska
Locating the best nursing school near Akiak AK may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Akiak AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Akiak AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Akiak AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to obtain 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 minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Akiak AK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Akiak AK or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Akiak AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Akiak AK 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Akiak AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Akiak AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Akiak AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Akiak Alaska 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.
Akiak is located at 60°54′36″N 161°13′6″W / 60.91000°N 161.21833°W / 60.91000; -161.21833 (60.912220, -161.21389) (Sec. 32, T010N, R067W, Seward Meridian), on the west bank of the Kuskokwim River, 42 miles (68 km) northeast of Bethel, on the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta. Akiak is located in the Bethel Recording District.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.1 km2), of which 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), or 32.58%, is water. Precipitation averages 16 inches (410 mm) in this area, with snowfall of 50 inches (1,300 mm). Summer temperatures range from 42 °F (6 °C) to 62 °F (17 °C). Winter temperatures range from −2 °F (−19 °C) to 19 °F (−7 °C).
In 1880, the village of "Akairmiut" had a population of 175. The name Akiak means "the other side", since this place was a crossing to the Yukon River basin during the winter for area Yup'ik Eskimos. The Akiak post office was established in 1916. A U.S. Public Health Service hospital was built in the 1920s. The city was incorporated in 1970.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Akiak AK
Deciding on the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Akiak AK.
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