Tips for Finding the Right Nursing School

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Guest Blogger: Catherine

Choosing the right nursing school is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your career. Potential employers want to ensure that you are qualified to properly care for clients, so you will want to choose a program that offers quality education in current nursing practices. When making your decision, here are some things to look for.

  • Conduct some research on your state’s Board of Nursing website. Here, you will find a link that will take you to a listing of all the nursing programs that are available in your state. In order to be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-LPN, it is important to choose a nursing program that is approved by the Board of Nursing in your state. An approved program will ensure that you gain all the knowledge you need to safely and effectively provide nursing care.
  • Find out if the program is accredited by the NLNAC or the CCNE. Since accreditation is a voluntary process, by choosing a program that has chosen to go through this process, you can feel confident that the program conforms to, or surpasses, the educational standards. Although it is possible to get a quality education from a school that does not have this accreditation, employers tend to feel more confident in the abilities of a new nurse who has graduated from an accredited nursing program.

  • Ask for a campus tour. Before making a decision, it is important to get a feel for the campus, and learn as much about the program as possible. You may be allowed to see the nursing labs, meet the nursing faculty, and ask questions. It may also be a good idea to talk to current nursing students. They may be able to address some concerns or fears you may have about attending nursing school. Since you will be spending a lot of time in this environment, you want to ensure that it’s a place where you will feel comfortable.
  • Determine if the program offers flexible scheduling. If you work full-time, you will need to focus on programs that have day, night, and/or weekend classes, labs, and clinical times.
  • Decide if the program if affordable. There are many great nursing programs, however, some of them can be expensive when you add up tuition, books, and nursing lab fees. During your tour, ask if they can provide you with a breakdown of fees that are required for the nursing program. You will also want to set up an appointment with the financial aid office to determine if you qualify for grants, scholarships, work-study, and/or loans that can be used to help pay for your education.

When choosing a nursing school, there are many things you should take into consideration. Before deciding on a school, take some time to thoroughly research your options. You should feel comfortable and confident with the school you choose in order to get the most out of your learning experiences.

This guest article was contributed by Catherine Santos who frequently writes about Nursing education like CRNA Schools.

Here are a couple of books that may help as well:

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  1. Dan says

    Would NCLEX pass rates be something to consider? As well as attrition rates? Here in the East Bay there are a few private schools with NCLEX pass rates in the 70%’s that are kind of considered RN-mills.
    As well, there is my community college that boasts an 100% NCLEX pass rate but wont tell you their attrition averages about 75%! In my class that started with 88, we are going to graduate with 18.

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