Deciding that you want to get into nursing is already a big decision in an individual’s life, but the choices don’t end there. The type of nursing program and school that you enroll in has the potential to shape your life forever, so it’s important that you put the right steps in place to make sure that you make the right decision.
Choosing your nursing school is hard, as there are many different things to consider and many factors that can both enhance a school and detract from it. Things such as the curriculum, the cost, time commitment, and campus locations are things that you’re going to have to think about and figure out. The following tips are designed to help you make the best decision for you and give you the confidence to make the best choice that suits your specific needs and goals. Here is a guide to choosing the right nursing program.
What Do You Want from it?
Not all nursing programs are created equal, as they all offer their own unique benefits and specifications. To make sure that the nursing program is the best one for you, you need to figure out what skills and knowledge you need to obtain to succeed in the medical field you want to pursue. This will mostly be dictated by the job you want, as different roles require different qualifications. Before picking out a program, figure out the learning style that best suits you, your future goals, and if you have any other commitments which can play a part in determining your needs.
You need to consider how long you want to be in education, as many different courses can vary in length. The time you’ll spend in a nursing school depends on where you want to end up. To become an entry-level registered nurse, you’ll need a single year certificate or diploma obtained at a community college at least. However, to work in a more advanced and specialized field, you’ll need to study for 6-7 years working to obtain a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
You should also do everything you can to figure out the structure of your classroom and assess how that suits you. Some courses may teach in large lecture settings, while others opt for smaller classes that can give individual attention. You can also learn a nursing program at your own pace through online courses, so you need to figure out which option suits you to make a good choice.
What Do You Desire in a Nursing School?
Once you’ve decided on the type of course you want to take based on what you want from it, you then need to consider what you want to get out of the school that it’s taught at. The school you go to will play a big part in your life while you complete your education, so it’s important to get the institution right.
You’ll want to first consider where the school is based if you’re taking the on-campus route of learning. If you plan on commuting from home, you want to make sure that it’s easily accessible and not too far away. If you’re moving on campus, it’s important to consider what the town or city the campus is in is like and if it’s a location that you see yourself thriving in.
It’s also worth finding out what life is like on campus, as diving into this can help you decide if this lifestyle is for you or not. With living on campus, as you’ll most likely be living in a dorm with roommates, it is important to figure out how this may affect your studying, sleeping, and other lifestyle patterns. You’ll also want to figure out the small details, such as how far classrooms are from the dorms, what the transportation is like on campus as well as what extra facilities there are on the campus, as all these can make it worth staying at or not.
Consider the Rankings
To help find the best school for you that is going to offer the best type of education, take a look at the school rankings, as these can be informative and help guide you towards certain institutions. Using the rankings can help you decide between two schools but do keep in mind that they don’t factor in stuff like campus life.
If you also want to boost your job prospects, then using the rankings to choose a good school can help. This is because employers will be aware of the rankings and will value a candidate from a higher-ranking school than a lower-ranking one. Click here to find out how succeeding at a good nursing school can make you more employable once you graduate.
Visit a Lot of Schools
The best way to figure out if a certain nursing school or nursing program is for you is to attend open days at these institutions. Getting a firsthand experience of the campus and the teachers will help you decide and give you a clearer picture of what things will be like there. Be sure to visit a few, as seeing a wide variety of campuses can give you a broad sense of what you want. Be sure to visit every school that you apply for as you don’t start a nursing program blind and unsure of your surroundings.
Verify That the Course has State Approval and is Accredited
Suppose you want to become a licensed nurse, the entry-level position for most people getting a nursing degree. In that case, you need to make sure that the school you’re attending is approved by the state’s Board of Nursing, because if it isn’t, then your time there will be a waste of time, as you won’t be able to practice as a nurse without the license.
It’s also worth attending nursing programs that are accredited only, as this will ensure that the education you receive is quality and that it meets the standards of the U.S Department of Education. Going to a school that isn’t an accredited school could make it harder to get financial aid to help you during your education, so it’s always best to find a nursing program that is.