How to Pick the Best Nursing Degree Program near Badger Alaska
Locating the best nursing program near Badger AK may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Badger AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing School Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Badger AK area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Badger AK students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Why Nursing?Nurses are an essential component of a Badger AK medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses provide direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Badger AK or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 Badger AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Badger AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Alaska RN School
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most crucial 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 aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Badger Alaska.