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How to Enroll In the Best RN Program near Bethel Alaska

Bethel Alaska Nurse checking man with stethoscopeSelecting the right nursing school near Bethel AK may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don't know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree choices that are offered along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Bethel Alaska RN reading blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Bethel AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing College Degrees Available

There is more than one degree option offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bethel 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 position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Schools

Bethel Alaska RN holding health fileAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount 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 practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Bethel AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

Nurses are an important part of a Bethel AK medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human side of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Nurse reading with Bethel Alaska nursing home patientOnce you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Bethel AK or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial 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 ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Bethel 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bethel AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bethel AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Bethel AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Degree Programs in Bethel

Enroll in the Best Alaska RN College

Choosing the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bethel Alaska.


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