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Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Cave Creek AZ or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points 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 compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Cave Creek AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Cave Creek 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 colleges you are considering 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Cave Creek AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Cave Creek AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.