How to Find the Right Nursing School near Bethel Alaska
Selecting the right nursing college near Bethel AK may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing college. There are many important additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Bethel AK medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bethel AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Bethel AK students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 household 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 hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Bethel AK area and throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Bethel AK, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bethel 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 considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bethel AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Bethel AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Bethel AK?
Bethel (Mamterilleq in Central Alaskan Yup'ik) is a city located near the west coast of the U.S. state of Alaska, approximately 400 miles (640 km) west of Anchorage, in the Bethel Census Area. Accessible only by air and river, Bethel is the main port on the Kuskokwim River and is an administrative and transportation hub for the 56 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Bethel is the largest community in western Alaska and in the Unorganized Borough, as well as the 9th largest in the state, with a population of 6,080 as of the 2010 Census. Bethel is home to the lone detention center in southwestern Alaska, the Yukon Kuskokwim Correction Center.
Southwestern Alaska was the traditional place of Yup'ik people and their ancestors for thousands of years. They called their village Mamterillermiut, meaning "Smokehouse People", after their nearby fish smokehouse. It was an Alaska Commercial Company trading post during the late 19th century, and had a population of 41 people in the 1880 U.S. Census.
Select the Right RN Course near Bethel AK
Picking the right registered nursing college is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select 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 Bethel AK.
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