How to Pick an Accredited Nursing Degree Program near Steele Creek Alaska
Locating the best nursing college near Steele Creek AK may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree options that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Steele Creek AK hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing College Degrees Available
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 continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Steele Creek 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 job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 may desire 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Steele Creek AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an important component of a Steele Creek AK medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Steele Creek AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price 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 prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm 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 Steele Creek AK area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Steele Creek 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Steele Creek AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Steele Creek AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Alaska RN College
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Steele Creek Alaska.