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Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Hoover AL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Alabama for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, 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 Hoover 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 colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 Hoover AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Hoover AL area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.