How to Pick a Nursing Program in Pelican Alaska
Choosing the right nursing program near Pelican AK may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Pelican AK healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Pelican AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Pelican AK. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Alaska 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 might desire to progress 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pelican AK or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pelican AK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pelican AK area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Alaska. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Pelican AK home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Pelican AK as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Pelican AK.
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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Pelican AK area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Pelican 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 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 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 Pelican AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Pelican AK area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Pelican AK
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Pelican AK.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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