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Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Berkeley CA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with 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 before making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in California for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, 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 preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check 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 as well. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Berkeley 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 colleges 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Berkeley CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Berkeley CA area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.