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Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

RN interacting with College Alaska assisted living patientNow that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near College AK or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.  Also, many College AK area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some College AK 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the College AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with College AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

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