How to Select a Nursing Program in Skagway Alaska
Choosing the best nursing college near Skagway AK may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Skagway AK healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Skagway AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Skagway AK. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Skagway AK or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Skagway AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative 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, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Skagway AK area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Alaska. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Skagway AK home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and 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 no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Skagway AK and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Skagway AK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Skagway AK area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 regional Skagway AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Skagway AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Skagway AK area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Skagway AK
Selecting the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Skagway AK.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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