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Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Apache Junction AZ or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Apache Junction AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Apache Junction AZ 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.