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How to Find an Accredited Nursing School near Eagle River Alaska

Eagle River Alaska RN checking patient with stethoscopeSelecting the best nursing college near Eagle River AK may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Eagle River Alaska RN taking blodd pressure of senior woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Eagle River AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 Degree Options

There is more than one degree option offered 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 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 to aspiring students in the Eagle River AK area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Programs

Eagle River Alaska RN holding medical chartEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Eagle River AK students. Pertaining to tuition, many 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 economical. 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 household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an important component of a Eagle River AK medical team, and for a large number of 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 enter the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human side of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

Nurse reading with Eagle River Alaska assisted living patientOnce you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Eagle River AK or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start 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 important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Eagle River AK area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Eagle River AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Eagle River AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Enrolling in Nursing Colleges in Eagle River

Enroll in the Right Alaska RN College

Choosing the ideal nursing school is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Eagle River Alaska.


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