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RN interacting with Roanoke Alabama assisted living patientNow that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Roanoke AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Roanoke 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. 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 Roanoke 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 schools 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Roanoke AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Roanoke AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

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