nursing schools question
nursing schools question
1. How many students have graduated from your program over the past 3 years?
Asking about the total number of graduates will give you a better idea of whether their program is on the rise or entering a period of decline. The school should also be able to tell you how many students graduated without any previous experience in the nursing field. While this may not seem like important information, it can actually provide valuable insight: the simplest way to increase your graduating numbers is by accepting more transfer students. However, if a large number (or majority) of your grads are transfer nurses, that might indicate that your school is struggling at the start and needs transfers to fill seats. In general, it’s best to look for schools where graduates come from all sorts of diverse backgrounds, including students who entered from other fields entirely.
This question can also show whether there are issues with retention rates or other factors that may affect your graduation rate. For example, if the school accepts 50 new students each year and has 40 graduates 3 years later, it could mean that retention rates were low during previous years—maybe not enough support services were available in those times or perhaps things have changed since then!
2. How many did you accept with qualifications that were not quite up to your ideal?
The school ideally accepts students who meet the following criteria:
- a minimum grade of B in each prerequisite course
- 80% or higher in all sciences and math courses
- competitive TEAS score
If an applicant does not fully meet these qualifications, he or she may still be accepted, depending on the strength of other areas. For example, if you received a B- for one science course but your TEAS score is above 92%, then your overall application could still be considered for admission. The faculty members from each department review your file and determine whether you are qualified to attend their program.
3. What percentage of these students have successfully completed the program?
This number is not as straightforward as it sounds. Many statistics from schools use different methods of calculation and reporting, which can make comparing similarities and differences between schools difficult. Generally, a higher percentage of students successfully completing the program is a better sign than a lower percentage. When looking at completion rates, you will want to find out what they mean by ‘completing.’ Does that mean graduating? Passing licensing exams? To ensure you are getting an accurate assessment of the school’s quality, make sure you know how they are calculating this number before comparing one school’s completion rate to another’s.
4. Have any students failed a clinical nursing practicum in the last 5 years?
Clinical nursing practicums give you the opportunity to apply your classroom knowledge to real-life scenarios. They are typically around eight hours a day, five days a week for about four weeks, so they might interfere with your ability to work or care for family members. If you fail a clinical nursing practicum, it could affect your final grade in the class and delay your graduation.
It’s not common for students to fail clinical nursing practicums at accredited schools—about 1 out of 100 students fails according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The failure rate may be higher at unaccredited schools. According to practiceactuaries.org, if you do fail a clinical nursing practicum, many schools will allow you to retake it without paying additional tuition fees as long as you complete an assigned remediation plan within 30 days and explain why you failed the first time.
Students who have remediated their failed clinical nursing practicum can expect it to take around three months before they are allowed back into another one. This is because they will need more supervision when put back into a clinical setting because there is concern that they did not fully learn how to provide safe care during their initial practicum experience or that they still do not know how to apply their skills in a dynamic health care environment.
5. What percent of the new graduates pass their certification exam on the first attempt?
When you’re sifting through different schools, it is important to take a look at the number of new graduates who pass their certification exam on the first attempt. At Regis College, we are proud to say that in 2018, 93% of our graduating nursing students passed their NCLEX-RN exams on their first try. This is something you want to know before you make your decision. When looking through different schools, ask yourself: what is their pass rate? If a school has a high pass rate, then this means they have an excellent program and that they are teaching the information well so that students can be successful when applying it later in the real world. You’ll also have access to this information on each school’s website.
6. Please tell me about your graduate employment rate over the last 3-5 years.
At a minimum, the school should be able to give you its graduate employment rate. It may take several different forms:
- The percentage of graduates who are employed (e.g., 90% or 130/150)
- The number of students employed in their field within a reasonable time period after graduation (e.g., 10/10 within 6 months)
- The number of students employed in another field within a reasonable time period after graduation
7. What is your school’s job placement rate for graduates?
- There is no national standard for how to measure and report the job placement rate of graduates, so it is difficult to compare one school to another.
- Each school uses different methods for determining who is placed in a job, how long they have to get a job, and what they define as a “job.”
When you are comparing schools’ placement rates, consider the following:
- Which graduates were included in the calculation? Some schools may only include graduates who took NCLEX-RN or worked full time. If a graduate goes on to earn an advanced degree or works part-time, they may not be counted. Asking questions about which graduates were included will help you understand how accurate the placement rate is.
- How did your school determine whether a graduate was employed? Some schools might only count new jobs that require licensing as an RN (NCLEX-RN). Other schools might include any employment that requires nursing skills like supporting clinical faculty positions; working for home health care agencies; insurance companies; consulting firms; pharmaceutical firms; travel nurse agencies; publishing companies and public health departments. These types of occupations are important experiences that most students add during their career but do not require an RN license.
8. Do you have job placement services available for graduates, including help with writing resumes and preparing for interviews?
- Check to see if the school offers career development services as part of their nursing program. This might include resume and cover letter help, interview preparation tips, job search advice and practice interviewing.
- See if the school provides any networking opportunities for current students, such as career fairs and mock interviews with potential employers.
- Ask if there’s a dedicated career services office that supports all students in the university, not just those in health sciences. These offices sometimes have staff who can help you with your professional development throughout your degree program.
- Check to see if there are faculty members at the school who work as nurses at hospitals or other healthcare settings in your area. They may be able to provide insight into potential job opportunities or suggest other healthcare employers who are hiring new nurses like you.
9. What websites or social media do you recommend for me to follow to get more information about your nursing program?
- Check out the college’s website to learn more about their school, programs, professors, everything.
- Follow them on social media! Schools are trying harder and harder to connect with their audience through Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You can get a better feel for the culture of each school via social media than you can by reading an admissions brochure or visiting a campus. Also check out their Twitter feed – you’re able to see what kind of events/groups they support outside of the classroom. You’ll want to know this before you decide if it’s a place where you want to spend at least four years of your life.
- Ask your friends and family members if they know anything about the university! They might be able to give you advice that can’t be found anywhere else.
10. How can I sign up to attend an open house at the campus?
At an open house, you can learn a lot about a nursing program. You will see the facilities in person and get to ask questions in person. How do you sign up? You can contact the school directly via phone or online.
Here are some questions to ask:
- When is the next event?
- What does the program cover?
- What courses will I take?
- How much does it cost per credit hour?
- Are there scholarships available for students in your nursing program?
Check out these questions and make sure you ask them when choosing a nursing school
- How many students do you graduate every year?
- How many students who didn’t quite meet your standard did you accept this year?
- What percentage of these students were able to successfully complete the program?
- Have any students failed a clinical nursing practicum in the last five years?
Asking questions like these will not only help you choose a nursing school, but they will also give you an idea of what areas need improvement. If they offer classes that meet your needs, ask them if they would be willing to re-evaluate their criteria. School administrators usually welcome suggestions from parents and students.