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Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Madison AL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, 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 discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense 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 prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Alabama for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Madison 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Madison AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Madison AL area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.