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Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Fultondale AL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Fultondale AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fultondale 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 programs you are looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fultondale AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Fultondale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.