How to Find the Right Nursing School near Pelican Alaska
Finding the best nursing college near Pelican AK may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Pelican AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pelican AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 course of study 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Pelican AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Pelican AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Pelican AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Pelican 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 colleges 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 Pelican AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Pelican AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some Pelican AK students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pelican AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pelican 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.
Pelican (Tlingit: K'udeis'X̱'e) is a city in the northwestern part of Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 88, down from 163 at the 2000 census.
Pelican is located on the east side of Lisianski Inlet, a body of water that opens into Lisianski Strait and Cross Sound, on Chichagof Island at coordinates 57°57′30″N 136°13′27″W / 57.95833°N 136.22417°W / 57.95833; -136.22417 (57.958431, -136.224069).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), of which 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 16.25%, are water.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Pelican AK
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Pelican AK.
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