How to Select a Nursing School near Trapper Creek Alaska
Locating the right nursing program near Trapper Creek AK may feel like a formidable undertaking, 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 need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Trapper Creek AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment 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. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 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 multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Trapper Creek AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Trapper Creek AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Trapper Creek AK students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Trapper Creek AK or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Trapper Creek 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Trapper Creek AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Trapper Creek AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Trapper Creek AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Trapper Creek AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Trapper Creek 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.
Trapper Creek, Alaska
Trapper Creek is a census-designated place (CDP) in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area and is known as the southern gateway to Denali State Park. According to the 2010 census the population was 481, up from 423 in 2000.
Trapper Creek is a community located in Matanuska-Susitna Borough at latitude 62.317 and longitude -150.231, with an elevation of 351 ft (107 m). It is on mile 114.5 on Park's Highway, just south of Denali State Park. Trapper Creek is found at the intersection of Petersville Road and is spread out along the Parks Highway 15 miles north of Talkeetna Junction. Also, Trapper Creek extends down the Petersville Road, which leads to mining, prospecting, and recreation country in the foothills of the Alaska Range.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 370.8 square miles (960 km2), of which, 364.9 square miles (945 km2) of it is land and 5.8 square miles (15 km2) of it (1.58%) is water.
Select the Right Nursing College near Trapper Creek AK
Deciding on the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Trapper Creek AK.
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