How to Select a Nursing Program near Aniak Alaska
Selecting the right nursing college near Aniak AK may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Aniak AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Aniak AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps 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 ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice 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, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 education can be obtained at Aniak AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with 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 schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Aniak AK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Aniak AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Aniak 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Aniak 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 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 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 favorable reputation within the Aniak AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Aniak AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Aniak AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Aniak 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.
Aniak is located on the south bank of the Kuskokwim River at the head of Aniak Slough, 59 miles (95 km) southwest of Russian Mission in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. It lies 92 miles (148 km) northeast of Bethel and 317 miles (510 km) west of Anchorage.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.8 square miles (23 km2), of which, 6.5 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) of it (25.82%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 572 people, 174 households, and 133 families residing in the city. The population density was 87.8 people per square mile (33.9/km²). There were 203 housing units at an average density of 31.1 per square mile (12.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 25.00% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 68.36% Native American, 0.52% Asian, and 5.77% from two or more races. 1.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Aniak AK
Choosing the right nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Aniak AK.
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