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Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Alabaster AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Alabama for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- 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. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Alabaster AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Alabaster AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Alabaster AL area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.