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What to Ask Nursing Schools

Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Anchorage AK or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Alaska for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Anchorage AK 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Anchorage AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Anchorage AK area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.