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Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Palmer AK or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly 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 choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. 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 pick measures up to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Palmer AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specified 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 an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Palmer 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Palmer AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Palmer AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.