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What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Texarkana AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Arkansas for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Texarkana 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 Texarkana AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Texarkana AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.