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Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Montevallo AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start 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 reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Montevallo AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Montevallo 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Montevallo AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Montevallo AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.