How to Choose a Nursing College near Dillingham Alaska
Searching for the best nursing school near Dillingham AK may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing school. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at 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 Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Dillingham AK medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 2 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 Dillingham AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Dillingham AK students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Dillingham AK area and throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Dillingham AK, which are frequently not available 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call some Dillingham 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 programs 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Dillingham AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Dillingham AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Dillingham AK?
Dillingham /ˈdɪlɪŋhæm/ (Curyuk in Central Alaskan Yup'ik), also known as Curyung and (for the southwestern section) Kanakanak, is a city in Dillingham Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 2,329.
Dillingham is on Nushagak Bay at the mouth of the Nushagak River, an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea in the North Pacific, in southwestern Alaska. It is located at 59°02′48″N 158°30′31″W / 59.04667°N 158.50861°W / 59.04667; -158.50861 (59.046751, -158.508665).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.1 km2). 33.6 square miles (86.9 km2) of it is land, and 2.8 square miles (7.2 km2) of it (7.64%) is water. This may change as the City of Dillingham will likely petition the State of Alaska to increase the size of its boundaries to include most of Nushagak Bay and Wood River, to gain revenue from the Nushagak District and Wood River Special Harvest Area commercial salmon fisheries.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Dillingham AK
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Dillingham AK.
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