How to Pick a Nursing School near Tununak Alaska
Locating the best nursing program near Tununak AK may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Tununak AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Tununak AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate 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 can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 course of study properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Tununak 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Tununak AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Tununak AK or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, 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 manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Tununak AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tununak 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Tununak AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Tununak AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Tununak AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tununak 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.
It is located on the northwest side of Nelson Island in the Bering Sea. It is approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the closest village Toksook Bay and a year-round trail exists between the two villages.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 60.7 square miles (157 km2), of which, 60.5 square miles (157 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.33%) is water.
Tununak first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as "Tanunak", an unincorporated village of 8 residents, all Inuit. It appeared on the 1890 census as the village of "Dununuk." In 1940, it appeared again as "Tanunak" until it was incorporated as Tununak in 1975. It was disincorporated in 1997 and made a census-designated place (CDP) effective with the 2000 census.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Tununak AK
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Tununak AK.
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