How to Choose the Right Nursing School near Klawock Alaska
Searching for the right nursing school near Klawock AK may seem like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
There are multiple degrees offered 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Klawock AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an indispensable component of a Klawock AK medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including 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 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 frequently choose the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Klawock AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Klawock AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Klawock AK students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Klawock AK or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Klawock AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Klawock 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 complete 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 Klawock AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Klawock AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Klawock AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Klawock Alaska area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both interesting and useful regarding the location of your school campus.
Klawock (Tlingit: Láwaak) is a city in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, on Klawock Inlet, across from Klawock Island. The population was 755 at the 2010 census, down from 854 in 2000.
Klawock's first settlers were Tlingit who came from the northern winter village of Tuxekan. They used it as a fishing camp for the summer period, and called it by several different names: Klawerak, Tlevak, Clevak, and Klawak. The name "Klawock" is derived from the Tlingit name ɬawa:k, a subgroup of the Tlingit nation. In 1853 a Russian navigator referred to the village as "Klyakkhan", and in 1855 as "Thlewakh".
In 1868, European Americans opened a trading post and a salmon saltery; some years later, in 1878, a San Francisco firm opened the first cannery in Alaska. In the following decades, several others were established. A United States post office was established in 1882. The 1890 census recorded the town's population as 260.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Klawock AK
Choosing the right nursing college is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Top Ranked Nursing Schools. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 Klawock AK.
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