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What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Ozark AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first 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 evaluate how your pick measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Ozark AL area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Ozark 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 schools 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Ozark AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Ozark AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.