How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Program near Badger Alaska
Searching for the right nursing college near Badger AK may seem like a complex undertaking, especially 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 need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Badger AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Badger AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Badger AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many Badger AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Badger AK or on the web, 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 important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Badger AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Badger AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Badger AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Badger AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Badger Nursing College
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Badger AK.