How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Nome Alaska
Choosing the best nursing school near Nome AK may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Nome AK hospitals, private 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 exact 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Nome AK area.
- Associates. 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 healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 might wish 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Nome AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Nome AK or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Nome AK for non-accredited schools.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Nome 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Nome AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Nome AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Nome AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Nome AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Nome Alaska area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Nome (/ˈnoʊm/; Inupiaq: Siqnazuaq IPA: [siqnɐzuɑq]) is a city in the Nome Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. The city is located on the southern Seward Peninsula coast on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea. In 2016 the population was estimated at 3,797, a rise from the 3,598 recorded in the 2010 Census, up from 3,505 in 2000. Nome was incorporated on April 9, 1901, and was once the most-populous city in Alaska. Nome lies within the region of the Bering Straits Native Corporation, which is headquartered in Nome.
In the winter of 1925, a diphtheria epidemic raged among Alaska Natives in the Nome area. Fierce territory-wide blizzard conditions prevented the delivery of a life-saving serum by airplane from Anchorage. A relay of dog sled teams was organized to deliver the serum.
The origin of the city's name "Nome" is debated; there are three theories. The first is that the name was given by Nome's founder, Jafet Lindeberg: within trekking distance of his childhood home in Kvænangen, Norway, there is a Nome valley (Norwegian: Nomedalen).
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Nome AK
Choosing the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Nome AK.
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