How to Choose a Nursing Program near Mountain Village Alaska
Locating the best nursing school near Mountain Village AK may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job 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 extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Mountain Village AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Mountain Village AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain 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 able 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Mountain Village AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Mountain Village AK students. Pertaining to 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 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 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 active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Mountain Village AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Mountain Village AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Mountain Village 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mountain Village AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Mountain Village AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Mountain Village AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Mountain Village 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.
Mountain Village, Alaska
Mountain Village (Asaacarsaq in Central Yup'ik) is a city in Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska, United States, located on the Yukon River near the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. At the 2010 census the population was 813, up from 755 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 755 people, 183 households, and 146 families residing in the city. The population density was 173.7 people per square mile (67.0/km²). There were 211 housing units at an average density of 48.5 per square mile (18.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 6.36% White, 90.46% Native American, 0.13% Pacific Islander, and 3.05% from two or more races. 0.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 183 households out of which 56.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.7% were non-families. 17.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.13 and the average family size was 4.69.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Mountain Village AK
Choosing the right nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Mountain Village AK.
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