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Things to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Fultondale AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Fultondale AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fultondale 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 Fultondale AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Fultondale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.