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What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Hot Springs National Park AR or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, 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 requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Hot Springs National Park AR 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hot Springs National Park AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Hot Springs National Park AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.