How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Clear Alaska
Choosing the best nursing school near Clear AK may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Clear AK medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Clear AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Clear AK. 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Clear 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Clear AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Clear AK area. 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary 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 recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Alaska. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Clear AK home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Clear AK as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. 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 pick measures up to the other schools.
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. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Clear AK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 essential that the Clear AK area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies 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 evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Clear 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 good reputation within the Clear AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Clear AK area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Clear AK
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Clear AK.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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