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How to Pick the Best RN Course near Wasilla Alaska

Wasilla Alaska RN checking man with stethoscopeSelecting the best nursing program near Wasilla AK may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered along with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Wasilla Alaska RN reading vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Wasilla AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degrees

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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Wasilla AK area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.

Nursing Online Programs

Wasilla Alaska Nurse holding medical fileAttending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Wasilla AK students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an essential component of a Wasilla 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 healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Nurse reading with Wasilla Alaska assisted living patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Wasilla AK or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Wasilla AK area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • 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. 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wasilla AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Wasilla AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Wasilla AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Online Nursing Degree Programs in Wasilla

Choose the Right Alaska RN College

Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wasilla Alaska.


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