How to Select a Nursing Program near Ketchikan Alaska
Locating the right nursing program near Ketchikan AK may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Ketchikan AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ketchikan AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps 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 commonly a 4 year program offered at 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Ketchikan AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the education 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Ketchikan AK or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Ketchikan AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Ketchikan AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Ketchikan AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Ketchikan AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many Ketchikan AK students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Ketchikan AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Ketchikan 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.
Ketchikan (/ˈkɛtʃɪkæn/ KETCH-ih-kan;Tlingit: Kichx̱áan) is a city in and the borough seat of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough of Alaska. It is the state's southeasternmost major settlement. Downtown Ketchikan is a National Historic District. With a population at the 2010 census of 8,050, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state, and tenth-most populous community when census-designated places are included. The surrounding borough, encompassing suburbs both north and south of the city along the Tongass Highway (most of which are commonly regarded as a part of Ketchikan, albeit not a part of the city itself), plus small rural settlements accessible mostly by water, registered a population of 13,477 in that same census. Estimates put the 2017 population at 13,754 people. Incorporated on August 25, 1900, Ketchikan is the earliest extant incorporated city in Alaska, because consolidation or unification elsewhere in Alaska resulted in dissolution of those communities' city governments. Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, so named in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver.
Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town, emptying into the Tongass Narrows a short distance southeast of its downtown. "Ketchikan" comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean "the river belonging to Kitschk"; other accounts claim it means "Thundering Wings of an Eagle". In modern Tlingit this name is rendered as Kichx̱áan.
Ketchikan Creek served as a summer fish camp for Tlingit natives for untold years before the town was established by Mike Martin in 1885. He was sent to the area by an Oregon canning company to assess prospects. He established the saltery Clark & Martin and a general store with Nova Scotia native George Clark who had been foreman at a cannery that burned down.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Ketchikan AK
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Ketchikan AK.
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