How to Select a Nursing School near Thorne Bay Alaska
Searching for the right nursing program near Thorne Bay AK may seem like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing college. There are various key additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Thorne Bay AK medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Thorne Bay AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring 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 received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Thorne Bay AK students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Thorne Bay AK area and throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Thorne Bay AK, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some states require a certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Thorne Bay 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Thorne Bay AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Thorne Bay AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Thorne Bay AK?
Thorne Bay, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.4 square miles (79 km2), of which, 25.5 square miles (66 km2) of it is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) of it (15.85%) is water.
Thorne Bay first appeared on the 1890 census as the unincorporated settlement of "Tolstoi Bay." It had 17 residents, of which 14 were Native and 4 were White. It would not appear again until 1970 when it returned as Thorne Bay, also an unincorporated village. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) in 1980. It formally incorporated in 1982.
As of the census of 2000, there were 557 people, 219 households, and 157 families residing in the city. The population density was 21.8 people per square mile (8.4/km²). There were 327 housing units at an average density of 12.8 per square mile (4.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.46% White, 2.87% Native American, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 3.95% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Thorne Bay AK
Choosing the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Thorne Bay AK.
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