How to Pick a Nursing Degree Program near Holy Cross Alaska
Locating the right nursing school near Holy Cross AK may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Holy Cross AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Holy Cross AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 commonly a two 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.
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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate 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 basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Holy Cross AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Holy Cross 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 can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Holy Cross AK or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Holy Cross AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Holy Cross AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Holy Cross 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Holy Cross AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Holy Cross AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Holy Cross 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.
Holy Cross, Alaska
Holy Cross (Deloy Chet[pronunciation?] in Deg Xinag, Ingirraller[pronunciation?] in Central Alaskan Yup'ik) is a city in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 178, down from 227 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.4 square miles (97 km2), of which, 31.3 square miles (81 km2) of it is land and 6.2 square miles (16 km2) of it (16.51%) is water.
Holy Cross first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Inuit village of "Askhomute." In 1890, it was reported as "Kozerevsky." In 1900 and 1910, it was called "Koserefsky." It did not report on the 1920 U.S. Census. In 1930, it was then returned as Holy Cross for the first time. It was formally incorporated in 1968.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Holy Cross AK
Selecting the right nursing college is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Holy Cross AK.
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