How to Choose a Nursing School near Karluk Alaska
Choosing the best nursing college near Karluk AK may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Karluk AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Karluk AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available 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 ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. 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.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve 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 typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Karluk AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many Karluk AK students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Karluk 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 throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Karluk 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Karluk 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Karluk AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Karluk AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Karluk AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Karluk 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.
Karluk (Kal’uq or Kal’ut in Alutiiq) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kodiak Borough, Kodiak Island, Alaska, United States. The population was 37 at the 2010 census, up from 27 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 57.9 square miles (149.9 km2), of which 55.4 square miles (143.6 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.3 km2), or 4.20%, is water. Karluk is 88 miles (142 km) southwest of Kodiak City. The elevation is 137 feet (42 m).
Karluk first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village with 302 residents, including an Inuit majority of 277, with 24 "Creole" (Mixed Russian & Native) and 1 White. In 1890, it reported 1,123 residents, making it the 3rd largest community in Alaska, narrowly behind Juneau with 1,253 and the then-capital of Sitka with 1,190. A plurality being Asian, with 542 (the largest community of Asians), 391 Whites, 167 Native Alaskans, 20 Creoles and 3 not classified. It has continued to report in every successive census to date. It was erroneously reported on the 1940 census as "Karluck." In 1980, it was made a census-designated place (CDP).
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Karluk AK
Picking the right nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Karluk AK.
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