How to Pick a Nursing College near Saint Paul Island Alaska
Finding the right nursing school near Saint Paul Island 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 presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Saint Paul Island AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Saint Paul Island AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 may desire 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 pursue, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Saint Paul Island AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Saint Paul Island AK students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Saint Paul Island AK or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Saint Paul Island AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Saint Paul Island 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 schools you are looking at 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 superb reputation within the Saint Paul Island AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Saint Paul Island AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Saint Paul Island AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Saint Paul Island 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.
Saint Paul Island (Alaska)
Saint Paul Island is the largest of the Pribilof Islands, a group of four Alaskan volcanic islands located in the Bering Sea between the United States and Russia. The city of St. Paul is the only residential area on the island. The three nearest islands to Saint Paul Island are Otter Island to the southwest, Saint George slightly to the south, and Walrus Island to the east.
St. Paul Island has a land area of 40 square miles (100 km2). St. Paul Island currently has one school (K-12, 100 students), one post office, one bar, one small store, and one church (the Russian Orthodox Sts. Peter and Paul Church), which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Saint Paul is the largest of the Pribilof Islands and lies the farthest north. With a width of 7.66 mi (12.33 km) at its widest point and a length of 13.5 mi (21.7 km) on its longest axis (which runs from northeast to southwest), it has a total area of 43 sq mi (110 km2). Volcanic in origin, Saint Paul features a number of cinder cones and volcanic craters in its interior. The highest of these, Rush Hill, rises to 665 ft (203 m) on the island's western shore, though most of the upland areas average less than 150 ft (46 m) in elevation. Most of the island is a low-lying mix of rocky plateaus and valleys, with some of the valleys holding freshwater ponds. Much of its 45.5 mi (73.2 km) of shoreline is rugged and rocky, rising to sheer cliffs at several headlands, though long sandy beaches backed by shifting sand dunes flank a number of shallow bays.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Saint Paul Island AK
Picking the right nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Saint Paul Island AK.
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