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What to Ask Nursing Programs

registered nurse interacting with Glencoe Alabama nursing home patientNow that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Glencoe AL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of 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 workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Glencoe AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Glencoe AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Glencoe 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Glencoe AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

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