Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Coffman Cove AK

How to Choose a Nursing College near Coffman Cove Alaska

Coffman Cove AK pediatric nurse holding babyChoosing the best nursing program near Coffman Cove AK may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Coffman Cove AK Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Coffman Cove AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are several degree options offered 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Coffman Cove AK area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at 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 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has earned 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

Coffman Cove AK geriatric nurse with patientThere are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Coffman Cove AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

female student attending nursing school online in Coffman Cove AKAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Coffman Cove AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Coffman Cove AK or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly 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 earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. 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 selection 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 receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Coffman Cove AK for non-accredited schools.
  • 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) as well as 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 school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Coffman Cove 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 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 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 Coffman Cove AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Coffman Cove AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Coffman Cove AK?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Coffman Cove 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.

Coffman Cove, Alaska

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.9 square miles (39 km2), of which, 10.4 square miles (27 km2) of it is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km2) of it (30.03%) is water.

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 199 people, 63 households, and 42 families residing in the city. The population density was 19.2 people per square mile (7.4/km²). There were 99 housing units at an average density of 9.5 per square mile (3.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.44% White, 0.50% Black or African American, 2.51% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 5.03% from other races, and 4.02% from two or more races. 1.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 63 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.00.

Pick the Right Nursing School near Coffman Cove AK

Coffman Cove AK Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyEnrolling in the ideal nursing school is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 practicing RN in Coffman Cove AK.

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