How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Anchor Point Alaska
Finding the right nursing school near Anchor Point AK may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Anchor Point AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide 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 just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Anchor Point AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Anchor Point AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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 every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Anchor Point 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 can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Anchor Point AK or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably 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 prior to making your final decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Anchor Point AK 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Anchor Point AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Anchor Point AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Anchor Point AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Anchor Point AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Anchor Point 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.
Anchor Point, Alaska
Anchor Point is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Kenai Peninsula Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census the population was 1,930, up from 1,845 in 2000. The community is located along the Sterling Highway, part of Alaska State Route 1. Anchor Point is the westernmost point in the North American highway system.
Anchor Point is located at 59°46′39″N 151°46′13″W / 59.77750°N 151.77028°W / 59.77750; -151.77028 (59.777468, -151.770220) on the eastern shore of Cook Inlet. It is bordered to the north by Happy Valley, to the northeast by Nikolaevsk, and to the south by Diamond Ridge. The Anchor River runs through the southern part of the CDP, entering Cook Inlet just west of the town center.
The town is the furthest west on the U.S. highway system.Alaska Route 1 runs southeast from Anchor Bay 15 miles (24 km) to Homer and northeast 59 miles (95 km) to Soldotna. Anchorage is 206 miles (332 km) to the northeast via Route 1.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Anchor Point AK
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Anchor Point AK.
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