How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Stevens Village Alaska
Locating the best nursing program near Stevens Village AK may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Stevens Village AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Stevens Village AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares 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 subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn 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 offering a higher credential and more extensive 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Stevens Village AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. 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 Stevens Village AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Stevens Village AK or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Stevens Village AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Stevens Village 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 colleges you are considering 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 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 Stevens Village AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Stevens Village AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Stevens Village AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Stevens 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.
Stevens Village, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28 km2), of which, 10.4 square miles (27 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (5.47%) is water.
Stevens Village originally had been “Stevens Camp,” and was so listed in the 1900 Census. It next appeared on the 1910 U.S. Census as the unincorporated village of Stevens. It returned again in 1920, and in 1930, it returned as "Stephens." From 1940-60, it returned again as "Stevens." In 1970, and in every successive census, it has returned as Stevens Village. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) in 1980.
As of the census of 2000, there were 87 people, 35 households, and 15 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 8.4 people per square mile (3.2/km²). There were 43 housing units at an average density of 4.1/sq mi (1.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 3.45% White, 95.40% Native American, 1.15% from other races. 6.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Stevens Village AK
Enrolling in the ideal nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Stevens Village AK.
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