How to Pick a Nursing College near Port Heiden Alaska
Choosing the right nursing program near Port Heiden AK may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Port Heiden AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Port Heiden AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after attaining 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 attained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 warrants that the course of study 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 attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Port Heiden AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many Port Heiden AK students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Port Heiden AK or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Port Heiden AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specified 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Port Heiden 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 looking at 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 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 favorable reputation within the Port Heiden AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain 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 Port Heiden AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Port Heiden AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Port Heiden 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.
Port Heiden, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 51.4 square miles (133 km2), of which, 50.7 square miles (131 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (1.28%) is water.
Port Heiden first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Aleut village of "Mashikh." Some maps erroneously placed it at the latter settlement of Port Moller instead of at Port Heiden. In 1890, it returned as "Meshik." It next reported in 1920 as Port Heiden, and again in 1930. It did not appear again until 1960, but has appeared in every subsequent census. It formally incorporated in 1972.
As of the census of 2000, there were 119 people, 41 households, and 23 families residing in the city. The population density was 2.3 people per square mile (0.9/km²). There were 56 housing units at an average density of 1.1 per square mile (0.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 19.33% White, 65.55% Native American, 2.52% from other races, and 12.61% from two or more races. 2.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Port Heiden AK
Picking the right nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Port Heiden AK.
More Nursing School Locations in Alaska