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How to Select the Best Nursing Course near Badger Alaska

Badger Alaska RN examining man with stethoscopeSelecting the best nursing college near Badger AK may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Badger Alaska RN taking vital signs of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Badger AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist 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 portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Badger AK area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Schools

Badger Alaska RN holding medical fileAttending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Badger AK students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential part of a Badger AK medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Courses

registered nurse interacting with Badger Alaska assisted living patientNow that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Badger AK or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Badger AK area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check 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 as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Badger 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 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 Badger AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Badger AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Degree Programs in Badger

Enroll in the Right Alaska RN College

Picking the right nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Badger Alaska.


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