How to Choose a Nursing School near Kobuk Alaska
Choosing the best nursing school near Kobuk AK may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Kobuk AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Kobuk AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 attests that the course of study adequately 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Kobuk AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 period of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Kobuk AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Kobuk AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Kobuk AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Kobuk 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kobuk AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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 associations with Kobuk AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Kobuk AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Kobuk 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.
Kobuk was founded in 1899 as the village of Shungnak, a supply point for miners north of the Kobuk River in the Cosmos Hills. A trading post, school, and mission were built and residents came to the settlement. In the 1920s, river erosion led many residents to relocate ten miles downstream (west) to a site called "Kochuk." Kochuk became the new Shungnak, while the original Shungnak became Kobuk in 1928.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.8 square miles (44 km2), of which, 16.1 square miles (42 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (4.34%) is water.
Kobuk first appeared on the 1910 U.S. Census under its previous name of Shungnak, an unincorporated village. It appeared again on the 1920 U.S. Census. With the departure of many residents in 1927 to the "New" Shungnak site, the old site was renamed Kobuk in 1928. It did not appear on the 1930 census, but did beginning again in 1940. In 1970, Kobuk was erroneously reported as the unincorporated "Shungnak Village" (not to be confused with its neighbor city). In 1973, Kobuk was formally incorporated and has reported as Kobuk in every successive census since 1980.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Kobuk AK
Selecting the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Kobuk AK.
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