How to Pick a Nursing School near Valdez Alaska
Locating the best nursing program near Valdez AK may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know 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 appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in 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 alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Valdez AK medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular 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:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Valdez AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. 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 college for many Valdez AK students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Valdez AK area and throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Valdez AK, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Valdez 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Valdez AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Valdez AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Valdez AK?
Valdez (/vælˈdiːz, vəlˈdɛz/; Alutiiq: Suacit) is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the city is 3,976, down from 4,036 in 2000. The city was named in 1790 after the Spanish Navy Minister Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A former Gold Rush town, it is located at the head of a fjord on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. The port did not flourish until after the road link to Fairbanks was constructed in 1899. It suffered catastrophic damage during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, and is located near the site of the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill. Today it is one of the most important ports in Alaska, a commercial fishing port as well as a freight terminal.
The port of Valdez was named in 1790 by the Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo after the Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A scam to lure prospectors off the Klondike Gold Rush trail led to a town being developed there in 1898. Some steamship companies promoted the Valdez Glacier Trail as a better route for miners to reach the Klondike gold fields and discover new ones in the Copper River country of interior Alaska than that from Skagway. The prospectors who believed the promotion found that they had been deceived. The glacier trail was twice as long and steep as reported, and many men died attempting the crossing, in part by contracting scurvy during the long cold winter without adequate supplies. The town did not flourish until after the construction of the Richardson Highway in 1899, which connected Valdez and Fairbanks. With a new road and its ice-free port, Valdez became permanently established as the first overland supply route into the interior of Alaska. The highway was open in summer-only until 1950, when it was operated as a year-round route.
In 1907, a shootout between two rival railroad companies ended Valdez's hope of becoming the railroad link from tidewater to the Kennicott Copper Mine. The mine, located in the heart of the Wrangell-St.Elias Mountains, was one of the richest copper ore deposits on the continent. The exact location of the right-of-way dispute, in which one man was killed and several injured, is located at the southern entrance of Keystone Canyon on the Valdez side. A half-completed tunnel in the canyon marks the end of railroad days in Valdez. A rail line to Kennicott was later established from the coastal city of Cordova.
Select the Right RN Program near Valdez AK
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Valdez AK.
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