How to Select a Nursing College near Eagle River Alaska
Selecting the right nursing college near Eagle River AK may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing school. There are various crucial additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend 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, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Eagle River AK medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Eagle River AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Eagle River AK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Eagle River AK area and throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Eagle River AK, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Eagle River 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Eagle River AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Eagle River AK?
Eagle River, Anchorage
Eagle River is a community within the Municipality of Anchorage situated on the Eagle River for which it is named, between Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Chugach State Park in the Chugach Mountains. Its ZIP code is 99577. If Eagle River were not part of the Municipality of Anchorage, it would be classified as one of the five largest cities in Alaska.
The name Eagle River was first reported in 1939 by the U.S. Geological Survey. The Eagle River/Chugiak area was settled by homesteaders and prospered on agricultural activities. The Eagle River post office was established in 1961.
In spite of some local opposition, both Chugiak and Eagle River became annexed to the Municipality of Anchorage, when the City of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Area Borough were unified in 1975. Efforts to secede from the Municipality surfaced around 2000, but are no longer prominent as the community has seen an influx of individuals who have social and economic ties to Anchorage and the nearby Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson.
Select the Right RN College near Eagle River AK
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Eagle River AK.
More Fabulous Cities in Alaska
Business Results 1 - 10 of 58