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How to Pick the Right RN School near Fishhook Alaska

Fishhook Alaska RN checking man with stethoscopeSearching for the right nursing program near Fishhook 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 to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Fishhook Alaska RN reading vital signs of senior female patient

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Fishhook AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and often 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 Degree Options

There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Fishhook AK area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 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 provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) in order 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 mandates.

Nursing Online Degrees

Fishhook Alaska Nurse holding medical chartEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many Fishhook AK students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential component of a Fishhook AK medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire 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, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

RN interacting with Fishhook Alaska nursing home patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Fishhook AK or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Fishhook 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some Fishhook 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 looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fishhook AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Fishhook AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Online Nursing Classes in Fishhook

Choose the Best Alaska RN School

Enrolling in the right nursing program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fishhook Alaska.


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