How to Select a Nursing College near Barrow Alaska
Searching for the right nursing program near Barrow AK may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Barrow AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Barrow AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn 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 colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Barrow AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Barrow AK students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Barrow AK or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Barrow AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides 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. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Barrow AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Barrow AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Barrow AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Barrow AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Barrow 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.
Utqiagvik, (Inupiaq: Utqiaġvik, IPA: [ut.qe.ɑʁ.βik], English: /ˌʊtkiˈɑːvɪk/ UUT-kee-AH-vik), officially the City of Utqiaġvik,[A] and previously Barrow (/ˈbæroʊ/) is the largest city and the borough seat of the North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and is located north of the Arctic Circle. It is one of the northernmost public communities in the world and is the northernmost city in the United States. Nearby Point Barrow is the country's northernmost point. Utqiagvik's population was 4,581 at the 2000 census and 4,212 at the 2010 census.
The location has been home to the Iñupiat, an indigenous Inuit ethnic group, for more than 1,500 years. The city's native name, Utqiaġvik, refers to a place for gathering wild roots. It is derived from the Iñupiat word utqiq, also used for "potato". The name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Rochfort Maguire, Royal Navy. John Simpson's native map dated 1855, records the name "Otkiawik," which was misprinted on the subsequent British Admiralty Chart as "Otkiovik."
The name Barrow was derived from Point Barrow, and was originally a general designation, because non-native Alaskan residents found it easier to pronounce than the Inupiat name. A post office established in 1901 helped the name "Barrow" to become dominant. Point Barrow was named after Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty by explorer Frederick William Beechey in 1825.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Barrow AK
Enrolling in the right nursing school is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Barrow AK.
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