How to Choose a Nursing Degree Program near Fort Yukon Alaska
Searching for the right nursing program near Fort Yukon AK may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Fort Yukon AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Fort Yukon AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at 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 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 typically 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.
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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Fort Yukon AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Fort Yukon AK students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Fort Yukon AK or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous 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 workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Fort Yukon 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fort Yukon 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 programs 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 superb reputation within the Fort Yukon AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Fort Yukon AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Fort Yukon AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fort Yukon 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.
Fort Yukon, Alaska
Fort Yukon (Gwich'in: Gwich'yaa Zhee, translation: "House on the Flats") is a city in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population, predominately Gwich'in Alaska Natives, was 583 at the 2010 census, down from 595 in 2000.
What became the village of Fort Yukon developed from a trading post, Fort Yukon, established by Alexander Hunter Murray of the Hudson's Bay Company, on 25 June 1847. Murray drew numerous sketches of fur trade posts and of people and wrote the Journal of the Yukon, 1847–48, which gave valuable insight into the culture of the Gwich’in at the time. While the post was in Russian America, the Hudson's Bay Company continued to trade there until the American traders expelled it in 1869, following the Alaska Purchase when the Alaska Commercial Company took over the post.
During the Klondike Gold Rush, in the winter of 1897–1898, Fort Yukon received two hundred prospectors from Dawson City, which was short of supply. A post office was established on July 12, 1898 with John Hawksly as its first postmaster. The settlement suffered over the following decades as a result of several infectious disease epidemics and a 1949 flood.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Fort Yukon AK
Deciding on the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, 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 choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Fort Yukon AK.
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