How to Pick a Nursing Program in Hoonah Alaska
Choosing the right nursing school in Hoonah AK may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Hoonah AK. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Hoonah AK with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Hoonah AK.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Hoonah AK medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Hoonah AK colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Hoonah AK board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive 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 Hoonah AK approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Hoonah AK to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Hoonah AK healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Hoonah AK and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. 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 selection compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Hoonah AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Hoonah AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hoonah 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 acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Hoonah AK clinical environment. Almost all Alaska nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in Hoonah AK
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Hoonah AK.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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