How to Select a Nursing School in Unalaska Alaska
Searching for the right nursing college in Unalaska AK may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system in Unalaska AK. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Unalaska AK with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Unalaska AK.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Unalaska AK healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Unalaska AK 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 might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Unalaska AK board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Unalaska AK approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Unalaska AK to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Unalaska AK healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some 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 can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Unalaska AK and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Unalaska AK.
- 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. Many states require a certain 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 an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Unalaska AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Unalaska AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Unalaska AK clinical environment. Essentially all Alaska nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course in Unalaska AK
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 licensed RN in Unalaska AK.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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