How to Select a Nursing Program near Kenai Alaska
Locating the right nursing program near Kenai AK may feel like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing school. There are a number of important additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Kenai AK medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Kenai AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alaska 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 might want 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some Kenai AK students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Kenai AK area and throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Kenai AK, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Kenai 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Kenai AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Kenai AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Kenai AK?
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.
Select the Right RN School near Kenai AK
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Kenai AK.
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