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What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Glendale AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Arizona 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. Certain 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Glendale AZ 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 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 good reputation within the Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Glendale AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.