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How To Choose The Right Nursing School For You

Mar 30, 2008
There are a number of factors to consider when looking the best nursing school for your education. It is not that much different from choosing a college or other specialty program, but the applicant must consider a couple of key factors. Things like geographical location, tuition, degree plans and tuition costs are all things that should be evaluated before making a final decision. This article will cover some of the basic factors that should help any nursing student make the decision as to which program is the best one for them and their career choice.

Location & Tuition

One of the most important and first questions on most students minds is the location and tuition of the university or program. This is because unfortunately money often dictates the type of education that we get. With unlimited funds it is not difficult to choose a program clear across the country, but for most it is a huge factor. That is one thing that must be evaluated first, the location of the school and whether or not the tuition can be afforded. Universities have different tuition rates and offer many options of financing. If financial aid or grant money is something that you are looking for than it is important to choose a college or program that offers federal financial aid or other methods of payment. Compare the per credit hour or cost of the program rate to other universities in the area as well as their reputation and what it offered. Other factors to consider are public versus private and in state as well as out of state tuition rates.

Specialties

Not every program or university will offer the same specialties in nursing. This is very important because if you are planning a specific track or career the program must prepare you or you will not be eligible to take your state exam. Check with the admissions office or counselor before making a decision. Ask what programs are available and whether or not you have an option of a more advanced degree. For example, if you are enrolled in an LVN program, do they offer an RN or BSN? This may not be something that you are concerned with this moment, but maybe something that you are interested in after completing that particular program.

Accreditation

With the addition of online classes and universities there has been some concern over accreditation and licensure. This is important because even after completing the program if the university is not accredited the state may not allow you to test. It is important to not only ask the university about their accreditation, but also check it out with your states licensing board first. A good rule of thumb is if the university offers Federal Financial aid they are most likely accredited by the appropriate authority. This information can be found by searching on the internet or contacting the board of higher education within your state or federal government. This is not something that you want to take a chance with or ignore because it could cost you thousands of dollars and a great deal of grief.

Preparation And Success Of The Program

Something else that may factor into your decision about the right school for you is the university or programs past graduate's records. Do these students pass their state exam, are they successful at finding employment and what their pass/fail rate is. This is something that can be inquired about at the admissions office or the respective state licensure board. A wise student is one that makes sure that the program successfully prepares them with both academic and hands on preparation. Clinical rotations and class size greatly affect the way that a student is prepared and should be asked about. If the class sizes are enormous that divides the instructor's attention that much further and can leave a gap in the learning environment. The smaller the class is the better chance of interaction and more hands on experience that the student receives. That is not to say that the larger classes are not good, but there is not as much personal attention in the large class versus the smaller class.

There are many things to consider when entering into a nursing program. Not only should the student evaluate the program, but also must decide on the particulars of their specialty. It is a good idea to do a little bit of research, talk to an admissions counselor and also talk to those in the profession to answer any questions that you may have about choosing the right program for you!
About the Author
Visit Gene's website for more information on Becoming a Nurse, Essay Writing and Study Skills
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