How to Select a Nursing College near Two Rivers Alaska
Choosing the best nursing program near Two Rivers AK may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training 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 final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Two Rivers AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Two Rivers AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 instruction can be received at Two Rivers AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Two Rivers AK students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue 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
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Two Rivers AK or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Two Rivers AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Two Rivers 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 programs you are looking at 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Two Rivers AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Two Rivers AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Two Rivers AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Two Rivers 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.
Two Rivers, Alaska
Two Rivers is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. It lies between mile 13 (the Little Chena River) and mile 25 (the Chena River) on the Chena Hot Springs Road, northeast of Fairbanks. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP had a population of 719, up from 482 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 482 people, 177 households, and 124 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 16.9 people per square mile (6.5/km²). There were 192 housing units at an average density of 6.7/sq mi (2.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.59% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 2.70% Native American, 2.49% Asian, 0.83% from other races, and 5.19% from two or more races. 1.24% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 177 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.9% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.19.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Two Rivers AK
Choosing the ideal nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, 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 produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Two Rivers 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.