How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Angoon Alaska
Locating the right nursing college near Angoon AK may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you make a decision 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, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Angoon AK healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Angoon AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Angoon AK. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Angoon AK or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Angoon AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Angoon AK area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Alaska to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Alaska. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Angoon AK home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Angoon AK as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Angoon AK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Angoon AK area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Angoon AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are looking at 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Angoon AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Angoon AK area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Angoon AK
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Angoon AK.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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