How to Pick a Nursing School near Port Lions Alaska
Choosing the best nursing college near Port Lions AK may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Port Lions AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Port Lions AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at 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 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Port Lions AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Port Lions AK or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Port Lions AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Port Lions AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Port Lions AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Port Lions AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Port Lions AK students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. So if your work and family commitments 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.
Attending a Nursing School near Port Lions AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Port Lions 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.
Port Lions, Alaska
Port Lions (Masiqsirraq in Alutiiq) is a city located on Kodiak Island in the Kodiak Island Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 194, down from 256 in 2000.
Port Lions was built to house the inhabitants of Ag'waneq from the neighboring island of Afognak and Port Wakefield from Raspberry Island, after their villages were destroyed by the Good Friday earthquake in 1964. Port Lions was built with help from the United States government and the Lions Club. It was named in honor of the club.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26 km2), of which, 6.3 square miles (16 km2) of it is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) of it (36.98%) is water.
Select the Right Nursing College near Port Lions AK
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 practicing RN in Port Lions AK.
More Awesome Locations in Alaska