How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Dutch Harbor Alaska
Finding the best nursing school near Dutch Harbor AK may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Dutch Harbor AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dutch Harbor AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Dutch Harbor AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance 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 facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Dutch Harbor AK students. Pertaining to 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 reduced, 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Dutch Harbor AK or online, you can use the following checklist 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 important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Dutch Harbor 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dutch Harbor 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 schools 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 superb reputation within the Dutch Harbor AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Dutch Harbor AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Dutch Harbor AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dutch Harbor 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.
Unalaska (Aleut: Iluulux̂) is the chief center of population in the Aleutian Islands. The city is in the Aleutians West Census Area, a regional component of the Unorganized Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. The population was 4,376 at the 2010 census, which is 79% of the entire Aleutians West Census Area. Unalaska is the second largest city in the Unorganized Borough, behind Bethel.
The Aleut or Unangan people have lived on Unalaska Island for thousands of years. The Unangan, who were the first to inhabit the island of Unalaska, named it "Ounalashka", meaning "near the peninsula". The regional native corporation has adopted this moniker, and is known as the Ounalashka Corporation. The Russian fur trade reached Unalaska when Stepan Glotov and his crew arrived on August 1, 1759. Natives, Russians and their descendants comprised most of the community's population until the mid-20th century, when the involvement of the United States in World War II led to a large-scale influx of people and construction of buildings all along the strategically located Aleutians.
Almost all of the community's port facilities are on Amaknak Island, better known as Dutch Harbor or just "Dutch". It is the largest fisheries port in the U.S. by volume caught. It includes Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears, U.S. Army, a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Dutch Harbor lies within the city limits of Unalaska and is connected to Unalaska by a bridge. Amaknak Island is home to almost 59 percent of the city's population, although it has less than 3 percent of its land area.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Dutch Harbor AK
Selecting the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Dutch Harbor AK.
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