How to Select the Best Nursing Training Program near Chena Ridge Alaska
Finding the right nursing school near Chena Ridge AK may feel like a difficult project, 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 obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Chena Ridge AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Chena Ridge AK area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Chena Ridge AK students. Pertaining to 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 minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 family commitments 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 busy schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an integral part of a Chena Ridge AK medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Chena Ridge AK or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site 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 stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Chena Ridge AK area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Chena Ridge 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 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Chena Ridge AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Chena Ridge AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Alaska RN School
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential 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 develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chena Ridge Alaska.