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Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fayetteville AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Arkansas for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fayetteville AR 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Fayetteville AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Fayetteville AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.