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Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Nurse reading with Chena Ridge Alaska assisted living patientNow that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Chena Ridge AK or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Chena Ridge AK area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Chena Ridge AK 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Chena Ridge AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Chena Ridge AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

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