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Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Daphne AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Daphne AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- 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) in addition to 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 attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Daphne AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Daphne AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.