How to Pick a Nursing School near Aleknagik Alaska
Choosing the right nursing program near Aleknagik AK may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper 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 final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Aleknagik AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Aleknagik AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Aleknagik AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Aleknagik AK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Aleknagik AK or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Aleknagik AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Aleknagik 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Aleknagik AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Aleknagik AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Aleknagik AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Aleknagik 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.
Aleknagik (/əˈlɛknəɡɪk/ ə-LEK-nə-gik; Alaqnaqiq in Central Yup'ik) is a second class city in the Dillingham Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 219 at the 2010 census, down from 221 in 2000.
Aleknagik is located at 59°16′42″N 158°37′23″W / 59.27833°N 158.62306°W / 59.27833; -158.62306 (59.278362, -158.622928) (Sec. 31, T010S, R055W, Seward Meridian), in the Bristol Bay Recording District.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.5 square miles (107.5 km2), of which 24.5 square miles (63.5 km2) is land and 17.0 square miles (44.0 km2), or 40.89%, is water.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Aleknagik AK
Picking the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Aleknagik AK.
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