How to Pick a Nursing College in Thorne Bay Alaska
Searching for the best nursing school near Thorne Bay AK may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Thorne Bay AK medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Thorne Bay AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Thorne Bay AK. And 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 continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Thorne Bay AK or concentrate 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Thorne Bay AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thorne Bay AK area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Alaska. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Thorne Bay AK home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Thorne Bay AK as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Thorne Bay AK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Thorne Bay AK area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Thorne Bay 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Thorne Bay AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Thorne Bay AK area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Thorne Bay AK
Picking the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Thorne Bay AK.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Alaska