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What to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Fairbanks AK or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Alaska for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch 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 companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fairbanks AK 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Fairbanks AK area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.