How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Skwentna Alaska
Searching for the right nursing college near Skwentna AK may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Skwentna AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job 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. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
There are several degree options to choose from 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Skwentna AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn 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, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Skwentna AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Skwentna AK students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Skwentna AK or online, you can use the following checklist 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first 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 evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Skwentna 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Skwentna 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 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 Skwentna AK medical 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 setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Skwentna AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Skwentna AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Skwentna 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.
Skwentna is a census-designated place (CDP) on Iditarod Trail in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 37, down from 111 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 449.7 square miles (1,165 km2), of which, 442.8 square miles (1,147 km2) of it is land and 6.9 square miles (18 km2) of it (1.54%) is water.
As with much of South Central Alaska, Skwentna has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc), with long, cold, snowy winters and short, warm summers, although, as is more typical of the Alaska Interior, August averages cooler than June; the town is also located in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3, indicating the coldest temperature of the year is typically in the −40 to −30 °F (−40 to −34 °C). In summer, temperatures reach 70 °F (21 °C) on 39 days and 80 °F (27 °C) on 4.6, with an average of 18 nights remaining above 50 °F (10 °C). August through October is the wettest period of the year, while snow typically falls from October to April (rarely May or September), accumulating 119 inches (3.02 m).
Select the Right Nursing Program near Skwentna AK
Enrolling in the ideal nursing college is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Skwentna AK.
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