How to Choose a Nursing Program in Port Lions Alaska
Choosing the right nursing school in Port Lions AK may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Having said that, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Port Lions AK. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Port Lions AK with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Port Lions AK.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Port Lions AK healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Port Lions AK colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Port Lions AK board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 Port Lions AK approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need 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 training program can take anywhere from just one 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Port Lions AK to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Port Lions AK healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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 obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Port Lions AK and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Port Lions AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Port Lions 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 finish 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 favorable reputation within the Port Lions AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Port Lions AK clinical environment. Almost all Alaska nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program in Port Lions AK
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Port Lions AK.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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