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Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near North Little Rock AR or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary 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 evaluate how your pick 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Arkansas 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some North Little Rock AR 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 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 good reputation within the North Little Rock AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with North Little Rock AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.