How to Enroll In a Nursing School in North Pole Alaska
Choosing the right nursing program in North Pole AK may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in North Pole AK. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support 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 as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in North Pole AK with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in North Pole AK.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in North Pole AK healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at North Pole AK colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the North Pole AK board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be North Pole AK approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for North Pole AK to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local North Pole AK healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many 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 easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within North Pole AK and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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 verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in North Pole AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby North Pole 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 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 displeased 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 North Pole AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a North Pole AK clinical setting. Essentially all Alaska nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College in North Pole AK
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in North Pole AK.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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