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What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Altadena CA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in California 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Altadena CA 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Altadena CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Altadena CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.