How to Pick a Nursing School near Tyonek Alaska
Selecting the best nursing program near Tyonek AK may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, 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 measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Tyonek AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on 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 Tyonek AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Tyonek 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program 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. 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some Tyonek AK students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Tyonek AK or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Tyonek AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Tyonek 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Tyonek AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tyonek AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Tyonek AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tyonek 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.
Tyonek (Dena'ina: Qaggeyshlat) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census the population was 171, down from 193 in 2000. In 1973, the community formed the Tyonek Native Corporation (TNC) under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and is federally recognized.
A Dena'ina Alaska Native village at Tyonek was noted by the explorer James Cook in 1778. The Lebedev-Lastochkin Company, a Russian fur trade venture, maintained a small trapping station on the site of Tyonek. A detachment of the Vancouver Expedition under Joseph Whidbey visited the trading post in May 1794. Whidbey found that the LLC maintained "one large house, about fifty feet long, twenty-four wide, and about ten feet high; this was appropriated to the residence of nineteen Russians..." A smallpox epidemic in the late 1830s killed about half the population. Tyonek became a major port during the Resurrection Creek gold rush of the 1880s, but declined after the founding of Anchorage on the other side of Cook Inlet in 1915. Tyonek was moved to its current site when the original village, located on lower ground, flooded in the 1930s.
Tyonek is located at 61°3′38″N 151°13′51″W / 61.06056°N 151.23083°W / 61.06056; -151.23083 (61.060470, -151.230697). Although politically in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, it is located on the mainland on the northwest side of Cook Inlet, across from the Kenai Peninsula. It is bordered to the northeast by the community of Beluga.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Tyonek AK
Enrolling in the right nursing college is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Tyonek AK.
More Nursing School Locations in Alaska