How to Select a Nursing College near Old Harbor Alaska
Choosing the right nursing school near Old Harbor AK may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Old Harbor AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide 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 in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Old Harbor AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after receiving 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 warrants 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Old Harbor 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 obtain 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 amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Old Harbor AK students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Old Harbor AK or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Old Harbor AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Old Harbor 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Old Harbor AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Old Harbor AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Old Harbor AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Old Harbor 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.
Old Harbor, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.5 square miles (68.7 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53.2 km2) is land and 6.0 square miles (15.5 km2), or 22.59%, is water.
The community of Old Harbor has its origins in the era of Russian conquest. On August 14, 1784, Grigory Shelikhov with 130 Russian fur traders massacred (see Awa'uq Massacre) several hundred Qik’rtarmiut Sugpiat tribe of Alutiiq men, women and children at Refuge Rock, a tiny stack island off the eastern coast of Sitkalidak Island. In Alutiiq, this sacred place is known as Awa'uq ("to become numb").
Old Harbor first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village with 160 residents: 155 Inuit and 5 Creole (Mixed Russian and Native). It returned with 86 residents in 1890, all Native. It did not return again until 1920. It formally incorporated in 1966.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Old Harbor AK
Picking the ideal nursing school is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Old Harbor AK.
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