How to Find the Right Nursing School near Gakona Alaska
Searching for the best nursing program near Gakona AK may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Gakona AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Gakona AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he 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 be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. 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 pursue, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Gakona AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Gakona AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Gakona AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Gakona 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Gakona 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Gakona AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Gakona AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Gakona AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Gakona 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.
Gakona /ɡəˈkoʊnə/ (Ggax Kuna’ in Ahtna Athabascan) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 218, up from 215 in 2000.
Gakona is located at 62°18′17″N 145°16′24″W / 62.30472°N 145.27333°W / 62.30472; -145.27333 (62.301940, -145.30194) (Sec. 18, T006N, R001E, Copper River Meridian). It is positioned in the Chitina Recording District in the center of Copper Valley, surrounded by mountains and the Copper River.
Gakona is at the confluence of the Copper and Gakona rivers, 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Glennallen. It lies at mile 2 on the Tok Cut-Off to the Glenn Highway, just east of the Richardson Highway. Gakona is located in the continental climate zone, with long, cold winters and relatively warm summers. Temperature extremes have been recorded from −62 to 91 °F (−52 to 33 °C). Snowfall averages 61 inches (150 cm), with total precipitation of 13 inches (330 mm) per year.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Gakona AK
Selecting the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Gakona AK.
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