How to Pick a Nursing College in Metlakatla Alaska
Selecting the right nursing college near Metlakatla AK may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Metlakatla AK medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid 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 in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Metlakatla AK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Metlakatla AK. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Metlakatla AK or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Metlakatla AK. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Metlakatla AK area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Alaska. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Metlakatla AK home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Metlakatla AK along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Metlakatla AK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Metlakatla AK area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Metlakatla 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 programs you are considering 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Metlakatla AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Metlakatla AK area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Metlakatla AK
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Metlakatla AK.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Alaska