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Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Southside AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Southside AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Southside 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Southside AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Southside AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.