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Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Nurse reading with Opelika Alabama assisted living patientOnce you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Opelika AL or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Opelika AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Opelika 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 colleges you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Opelika AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Opelika AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

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