How to Choose a Nursing College near Nikiski Alaska
Searching for the right nursing college near Nikiski AK may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Nikiski AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Nikiski AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides 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 seek, it needs to 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Nikiski AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some Nikiski AK students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Nikiski AK or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Nikiski AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Nikiski 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Nikiski AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Nikiski AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Nikiski AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Nikiski 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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 76.2 square miles (197 km2), of which, 69.6 square miles (180 km2) of it is land and 6.6 square miles (17 km2) of it (8.66%) is water.
Nikiski first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Tinneh villages of "Kultuk" (AKA Nikishka No. 3) and "Titukilsk and Nikishka." Kultuk had a population of 17, and Titukilsk and Nikishka had a population of 57, all of which were Tinneh Natives. There apparently were no census reports from 1880 until 1980, when the area was organized as "Nikishka" and made a census-designated place (CDP). The name was altered to Nikiski in 1990 and has reported as such on each successive census.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,327 people, 1,514 households, and 1,130 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 62.2 people per square mile (24.0/km²). There were 1,766 housing units at an average density of 25.4/sq mi (9.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 87.15% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 7.56% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.51% Pacific Islander, 0.83% from other races, and 3.12% from two or more races. 1.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Nikiski AK
Deciding on the right nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Nikiski AK.
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