How to Choose a Nursing Program in Anderson Alaska
Finding the right nursing school near Anderson AK may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Anderson AK medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Anderson AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Anderson AK. And in order 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Anderson AK or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Anderson AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Anderson AK area. The length of the training program 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Alaska. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Anderson AK home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 commitments have left you with 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Anderson AK along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Anderson AK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Anderson AK area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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 agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Anderson AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Anderson AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Anderson AK area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Anderson AK
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select 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 produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Anderson AK.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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