How to Choose a Nursing School near Barrow Alaska
Selecting the best nursing college near Barrow AK may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, 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 school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing school. There are several important additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Barrow AK medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions 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
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Barrow AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 generally a 2 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.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Barrow AK students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Barrow AK area and throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary 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 selection compares 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. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Barrow AK, which are oftentimes not provided 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Barrow 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 finish 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 good reputation within the Barrow AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Barrow AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Barrow AK?
Utqiagvik, (Inupiaq: Utqiaġvik, IPA: [utqe.ɑʁvik], English: /ˌʊtkiˈɑːvɪk/ UUT-kee-AH-vik), officially the City of Utqiaġvik,[A] and previously Barrow (/ˈbæroʊ/) is the largest city and the borough seat of the North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and is located north of the Arctic Circle. It is one of the northernmost public communities in the world and is the northernmost city in the United States. Nearby Point Barrow is the country's northernmost point. Utqiagvik's population was 4,581 at the 2000 census and 4,212 at the 2010 census.
The location has been home to the Iñupiat, an indigenous Inuit ethnic group, for more than 1,500 years. The city's native name, Utqiaġvik, refers to a place for gathering wild roots. It is derived from the Iñupiat word utqiq, also used for "potato". The name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Rochfort Maguire, Royal Navy. John Simpson's native map dated 1855, records the name "Otkiawik," which was misprinted on the subsequent British Admiralty Chart as "Otkiovik."
The name Barrow was derived from Point Barrow, and was originally a general designation, because non-native Alaskan residents found it easier to pronounce than the Inupiat name. A post office established in 1901 helped the name "Barrow" to become dominant. Point Barrow was named after Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty by explorer Frederick William Beechey in 1825.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Barrow AK
Picking the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick 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 produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Barrow AK.
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