How to Select a Nursing Program near Indian Alaska
Selecting the right nursing school near Indian AK may feel like a complex project, particularly 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 must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Indian AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing 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 responsibilities. 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Indian AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Indian AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn 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 performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Indian AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Indian AK or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Indian 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Indian 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Indian AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Indian AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Indian AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Indian 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.
Ak-Chin Indian Community
The Ak Chin Indian Community of the Maricopa (Ak-Chin) Indian Reservation is a federally recognized tribe and Native American community located in the Santa Cruz Valley in Pinal County, Arizona, 37 miles south of Phoenix and near the City of Maricopa. The Community is composed mainly of Akimel O'odham and Tohono O'odham, as well as some ethnic Hia-Ced O'odham members.
The Maricopa Reservation was established by the federal government in 1912, under President William Howard Taft; within a few months his administration reduced it by more than half, due to opposition from non-Native farmers in the area. Gaining federal recognition in 1961, the tribe has established a large agricultural operation, aided by gaining water rights to the Colorado River in a 1984 federal settlement. This settlement enabled it to continue using irrigation to support its agriculture and other needs.
The Community opened a gaming casino in 1994, Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, with related hotel facilities. In 2011 the casino and resort was the major contributor to the economy of Pinal County. In July 2011, the casino underwent a $20 million expansion, with addition of a new 152-room hotel tower that doubled its capacity. The resort now has 300 rooms, and an outdoor swimming pool, completed in 2012. The resort features five restaurants, an entertainment venue, meeting and conference space, and the only bingo hall in the Caesars organization. It has generated revenues that the Community has reinvested in other economic development projects.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Indian AK
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 Indian AK.
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