How to Find the Best Nursing Course near Fishhook Alaska
Selecting the best nursing college near Fishhook AK may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Fishhook AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Fishhook AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by 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) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Fishhook AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Fishhook AK students. Concerning 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 lessened, 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fishhook AK or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary 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 selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Fishhook AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fishhook 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Fishhook AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Fishhook AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Best Fishhook Nursing Degree Program
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Fishhook AK.