Friday, April 2, 2010

Choosing Nursing Programs

Choosing the best nursing programs for your nursing education is a very important decision that can make or break your learning experience. Picking the nursing school that is most situated to you and your personal needs can prevent you from having to transfer to another school later on doing your learning process. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a nursing school.

When choosing a nursing school it is important to make sure that your school is accredited and has a good record in preparing its students to become future nurses. Accreditation is very important when deciding upon any school for higher education. When a school is accredited by a particular organization, in this case a nursing organization, it means that certain qualifications and standards have been upheld when teaching nursing students.

There are two main nursing organizations that provide accreditation. They are the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing and Education (CCNE). It is important to only consider schools that are accredited by either or both of these nursing organizations. This will ensure that you will receive a quality nursing education. Similarly, when choosing a nursing program it is recommended that prospective students research the pass rates on the NCLEX which is the major test taken by nursing graduates to receive licensure to work as a nurse. The higher the NCLEX pass percentage for nursing graduates at a nursing school the more prepared the students were to take the test. This is a good sign that this school is preparing its students sufficiently to work as a nurse.

Convenience is also important when picking a nursing program. You should pick a school that is easily accessible and that provides convenient class hours and flexibility for your personal schedule. If you work full time and would like to pursue nursing school on a part time basis make sure that all schools you are considering offer evening and weekend classes and flexibility with clinical hours. Make sure that you are able to complete the nursing school program in the allotted amount of time stated by the nursing schools that you are considering. Most nursing schools mandate that the nursing curriculum be completed within a specified time usually no more than four or five years depending on the whether you are attending school full or part time.

Make sure that you can afford the nursing program that you choose. There are many quality nursing programs, some better than others, but it is always a good idea to balance a quality education with affordability. It is better to attend a good school that you can afford than a great school that is unaffordable and leaves you in a tremendous amount of debt or worse is so unaffordable that you have to halt your nursing education because of lack of financial aid. Apply for financial aid and choose a school that offers a quality nursing education at an affordable price.

Taking the time to consider a variety of different reasons why a nursing school may or may not be for you will ensure that you are ultimately satisfied with your nursing school choice.


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