How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Marshall Alaska
Searching for the best nursing college near Marshall AK may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Marshall AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid 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 as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options available 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 just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Marshall AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining 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 attained 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Marshall AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain 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 suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Marshall AK students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited 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
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Marshall AK or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors 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 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Marshall 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) 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 an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Marshall 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 colleges 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Marshall AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Marshall AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Marshall AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Marshall 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.
The predecessor village to Marshall first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the Inuit village of "Ooglovia." It was also known as Uglovaia. It would not appear again on the census. Marshall first appeared on the 1940 U.S. Census as the unincorporated village of Fortuna Ledge. In 1950, the name was changed to Marshall. It continued to return as Marshall in 1960 and 1970, but in the latter year incorporated as the city of Fortuna Ledge. It reported as Fortuna Ledge on the 1980 census, but the city reverted to the name of Marshall in 1984. It has continued to report as Marshall since the 1990 census.
As of the census of 2000, there were 349 people, 91 households, and 73 families residing in the city. The population density was 73.9 people per square mile (28.5/km²). There were 104 housing units at an average density of 22.0 per square mile (8.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 2.01% White, 95.99% Alaska Native or Native American, and 2.01% from two or more races. 0.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 91 households out of which 59.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 22.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.7% were non-families. 15.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.84 and the average family size was 4.23.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Marshall AK
Deciding on the right nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Marshall AK.
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