How to Choose a Nursing School in Galena Alaska
Choosing the right nursing school in Galena AK may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Galena AK. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Galena AK with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Galena AK.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Galena AK medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Galena AK colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 be sure to contact the Galena AK board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Galena AK approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Galena AK to make certain 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Galena AK healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Galena AK and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Galena AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies 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, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Galena 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Galena AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Galena AK clinical setting. Almost all Alaska nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School in Galena AK
Picking the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Galena AK.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Cities in Alaska You May be Interested In