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Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Scottsdale AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona 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 discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) 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 delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Scottsdale 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 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 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 Scottsdale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Scottsdale AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.