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Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Madison AL or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine 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 colleges 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 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 good reputation within the Madison AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Madison AL area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.