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Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Peoria AZ or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Arizona 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Peoria AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Peoria AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Peoria AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.