How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Wales Alaska
Selecting the best nursing school near Wales AK may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to investigate 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, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Wales AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. 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 common illnesses or injuries.
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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wales AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Wales AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Wales AK students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Wales AK or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and 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 final decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Wales AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified 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 outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wales 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wales AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Wales AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wales AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wales 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.
Wales (Inupiaq: Kiŋigin, IPA: [kiŋiɣin]) is a city in the Nome Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 145, down from 152 in 2000. It is the westernmost city on mainland North America. The westernmost city in Alaska, however, is Adak, located on Adak Island, in the Aleutians West Census Area. Wales Airport serves Wales with flights on Bering Air and Ravn Alaska to Nome.
In 1890, the American Missionary Association established a mission at the site of present-day Wales. In the 1890s, reindeer (domesticated caribou) were brought to the area and in 1894 a reindeer station was established. Wales became an important whaling center due to its location along whale migratory routes, and it was the region's largest and most prosperous village, with more than 500 residents. Wales is named after the country Wales.
Wales is located on the westernmost point of the American mainland, Cape Prince of Wales, on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula. It is at the northern end of the Continental Divide where the Pacific Ocean and Arctic Ocean meet. It is 111 miles (179 km) northwest of Nome.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Wales AK
Deciding on the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wales AK.
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