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Things to Ask Nursing Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Gateway AK or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Gateway AK for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Gateway AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Gateway AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Gateway AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

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