How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Takotna Alaska
Selecting the best nursing program near Takotna AK may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Takotna AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Takotna AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Takotna AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Takotna AK students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Takotna AK or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of 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 manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Takotna AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Takotna 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Takotna AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Takotna AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Takotna AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Takotna 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.
Takotna[pronunciation?] (Tocho’no’[pronunciation?] in Upper Kuskokwim) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 52 as of the 2010 Census, an increase of 4% from 50 at the 2000 Census.
According to the 2010 Census, Takotna is located at 62°58′56″N 156°05′03″W / 62.982342°N 156.084059°W / 62.982342; -156.084059 (62.982342, -156.084059). It has a total area of 23.816 square miles (61.68 square kilometers), all of which is land. As per the USGS National Elevation Dataset, the elevation is 492 feet (150 m).
Takotna first appeared on the 1930 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. It appeared on every successive census except in 1970, when it did not return a total. It returned in 1980 and was made a census-designated place (CDP).
Select the Right Nursing Program near Takotna AK
Choosing the right nursing program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Takotna AK.
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The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is addressing the problem at the high school level with its Anchorage Nurse Camp for upperclassmen and recent graduates. UAA’s School of Nursing has a specific program called Recruiting and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN). This organization hosts Anchorage Nurse Camp.