How to Pick a Nursing College near Thorne Bay Alaska
Locating the best nursing program near Thorne Bay AK may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Thorne Bay AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty 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 area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
There are several degree options offered 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Thorne Bay AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 core curriculum effectively 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Thorne Bay AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Thorne Bay AK or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Thorne Bay 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Thorne Bay 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 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 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 Thorne Bay AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Thorne Bay AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Thorne Bay AK students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Thorne Bay AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Thorne Bay 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.
Thorne Bay, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.4 square miles (79 km2), of which, 25.5 square miles (66 km2) of it is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) of it (15.85%) is water.
Thorne Bay first appeared on the 1890 census as the unincorporated settlement of "Tolstoi Bay." It had 1290 residents, of which 14 were Native and 4 were White. It would not appear again until 1970 when it returned as Thorne Bay, also an unincorporated village. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) in 1980. It formally incorporated in 1982.
As of the census of 2000, there were 557.25 people, 219 households, and 157 families residing in the city. The population density was 541.8 people per square mile (8.4/km²). There were 327 housing units at an average density of 12.8 per square mile (4.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.46% Caucasian, 2.87% Alaska Native, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 3.95% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Thorne Bay AK
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Thorne Bay AK.
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