What to Look for in a Nursing School

There are all sort of nursing schools. As students begin making plans for which college to attend in order to become a nurse it is important to carefully sort through all available options to find the one that works best on a personal level and to meet personal goals.

Here are a few things that should be considered in order to narrow down the field of options.

Accreditation of the Nursing Program

This is a sign of faith in the nursing program offered by the school. It is still possible to get a quality education in nursing (and qualify for licensing examinations) from a school that isn’t accredited but an accredited school or university for nursing education carries much more clout.

Available Nursing Degrees

There are many different types of degree offered for nurses. Potential students must match degree goals with the type of nursing program offered at the college or university and find the one that most closely matches their individual goals. Some of the degree options to consider are LPN (licensed practical nurse), ASN (associates degree nurse), BSN (bachelor’s degree nurse), NP (nurse practitioner), and MSN (master’s degree nurse).

Cost of Nursing Degree

There are more costs involved in nursing school than merely tuition. Be sure to check out all the incidental expenses (lab fees, books, supplies, scrubs, malpractice insurance, medical equipment, etc.) that are afforded to nursing students at a particular school in order to get a realistic idea of what the actual costs of the education for one, two, four, or more years the program might require.

Percentage of Graduates Passing the NCLEX

It doesn’t matter how wonderful the educational process is, how cheap the program is, or how many different degrees are available if the graduating students aren’t passing the NCLEX (national council licensure examination) licensing examinations given by the state. It is necessary to have a license in order to become a practicing nurse.

All a nursing degree does is provides students with the opportunity to take the NCLEX. Perspective students need to find out what percentage of graduates from the program pass this critical test before deciding it’s the right program at the right price.

Clinical Rotation/Experience

One thing that is essential for students to have a well-rounded education in nursing is clinical experience. What kind of clinical rotations are required for a degree from each university? The more clinical experience students gain in school to become nurses the more confidence they will have upon graduation and when facing the state licensing boards. All the classroom instruction in the world won’t hold a candle to the value of actual hands on experience in the nursing field upon graduation.

Size of the School

When it comes to nursing schools, size does matter for many students. Larger schools can be comforting to some students but other students may find them overwhelming and lacking in personal attention. The bottom line is that students need to know whether they prefer a program that provides a smaller classroom setting with a great deal of student to teacher interaction or if they are comfortable with a great deal of self-study and the need to do a lot of learning on their own.

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