How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Stebbins Alaska
Choosing the best nursing college near Stebbins 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 know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Stebbins AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Stebbins AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available 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 subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Stebbins AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Stebbins AK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Stebbins AK or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Stebbins AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Stebbins 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Stebbins AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Stebbins AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Stebbins AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Stebbins 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.
Stebbins is located at 63°30′43″N 162°16′29″W / 63.51194°N 162.27472°W / 63.51194; -162.27472 (63.511893, -162.274632), on the north side of St. Michael Island, which is on the south side of the Norton Sound in western Alaska.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.9 square miles (96 km2), of which, 35.2 square miles (91 km2) of it is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) of it (4.71%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 547 people, 123 households, and 104 families residing in the city. The population density was 15.6 people per square mile (6.0/km²). There were 134 housing units at an average density of 3.8 per square mile (1.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 5.12% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 93.97% Native American, and 0.73% from two or more races.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Stebbins AK
Enrolling in the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing school 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 produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Stebbins AK.
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