|Nursing Schools||Nursing Colleges||Nursing Programs||Nursing Degrees|
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Decatur AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Decatur AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Decatur AL 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 colleges you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Decatur AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Decatur AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.