How to Choose a Nursing School near Eielson Afb Alaska
Searching for the best nursing college near Eielson Afb AK may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure 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 appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Eielson Afb AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Eielson Afb AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Eielson Afb AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Eielson Afb AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably 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 so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Eielson Afb AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Eielson Afb 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Eielson Afb AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Eielson Afb AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Eielson Afb AK students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Eielson Afb AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Eielson Afb Alaska area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson AFB was named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by Col. Benjamin W. Bishop. Bishop is a Command Pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 340 combat hours. He's flown the T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-35A, and F-16 C/D aircraft. He is responsible for providing realistic combat adversary training to United States and allied forces in air, space, and information operations via RED FLAG-Alaska, Pacific Air Forces’ premier multinational large-force training exercise, and through PACAF's only Aggressor Squadron. He also directs the preparation and deployment of Airmen in support of global operations, enables the staging of forces through Eielson, and integrates air component capabilities into the US Army's I Corps through the 1st Air Support Operations Group. Additionally, Colonel Bishop is overseeing preparations for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Eielson Afb AK
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Eielson Afb AK.
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