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Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near East Florence AL or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Alabama 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) along 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some East Florence AL 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the East Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with East Florence AL area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.