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Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Forestdale AL or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Forestdale AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Forestdale AL 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Forestdale AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Forestdale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.