How to Select a Nursing College near Lower Kalskag Alaska
Locating the right nursing program near Lower Kalskag AK may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Lower Kalskag AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lower Kalskag 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 centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Lower Kalskag AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Lower Kalskag AK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited 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.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Lower Kalskag AK or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start 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 decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Lower Kalskag 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. 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 call some Lower Kalskag 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Lower Kalskag AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Lower Kalskag AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Lower Kalskag AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lower Kalskag 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.
Lower Kalskag, Alaska
Lower Kalskag (Qalqaq in Central Alaskan Yup'ik) is a city in Bethel Census Area, Alaska, United States. It is twenty-six miles west of Aniak. At the 2010 census the population was 282, up from 267 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), of which, 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (25.58%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 267 people, 66 households, and 54 families residing in the city. The population density was 208.2 people per square mile (80.5/km²). There were 79 housing units at an average density of 61.6 per square mile (23.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 4.49% White, 88.76% Native American, and 6.74% from two or more races.
Select the Right Nursing College near Lower Kalskag AK
Choosing the right nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lower Kalskag AK.
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