How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Kodiak Alaska
Choosing the best nursing program near Kodiak AK may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school 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 many crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Kodiak AK medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Kodiak AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Kodiak AK. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions 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 prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Kodiak AK or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kodiak AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kodiak AK area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Alaska. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for 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 Kodiak AK home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little 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.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Kodiak AK and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Kodiak AK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Kodiak AK area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Kodiak 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 programs 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 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 favorable reputation within the Kodiak AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Kodiak AK area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Kodiak AK
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Kodiak AK.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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